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Local History and Archives

Want to learn more about the history of St Helens and understand about the types of houses, schools, workplaces and shops your ancestors knew?

The Local History and Archives Library holds the historic records of St.Helens Borough Council and some of its old constituent authorities (Billinge and Winstanley, Haydock, Newton-le-Willows and Rainford). It also holds good collections of local business archives, family estate papers and local history collections of books, pamphlets, local newspapers, maps and photographs.

Family History Research

Research your family history with the help of Ancestry Online and Find My Past. These resources are available from any St Helens Library Service computer.

All this material can be freely consulted by library members in the Search Room in Central Library, Victoria Square, where staff are available to provide assistance.

When using the online catalogue, please take note of the reference numbers of the items you wish to consult. Please contact us at least 48 hours before your visit to allow items to be retrieved from the archive.

Bookings may be made by ringing 01744 676952 or by emailing lha@sthelens.gov.uk

 Opening Times

 Monday  10.00am 7.00pm 
Tuesday   10.00am 7.00pm 
Wednesday   10.00am 7.00pm 
Thursday   10.00am  5.00pm 
Friday   10.00am 5.00pm
Saturday   10.00am 4.00pm 


Please note, if you wish to visit the Local History and Archive department, it is advisable to contact Central Library on 01744 676952 who will update you regarding any changes affecting our usual opening times due to events taking place in the searchroom.

Take a look at What's On in Libraries for a list of forthcoming events.

View our Local History and Archive Catalogue or call 01744 676952 to make a booking.

Search Room facilities consist of:

  • Microfilm readers, microfilm printers and microfiche readers
  • 10 public computers
  • Free access to Ancestry and Find my Past
  • photocopying, digital scanning and microform copying are also available.


  • All microform readers are button operated.
  • Chairs of varying height are available for those using bi / varifocal reading glasses.
  • Magnifying lens are available on request
  • The Search Room can be accessed from street level by most wheelchairs including those of the larger motorised type.


Although most of the general local history stock in the Search Room may be consulted without an appointment it is advisable to book before visiting the library, as microform readers and computers are often in great demand.
Archives and records from collections stored elsewhere in the building, may either be consulted the same day or within 48 hours depending on the type of material requested.

Photocopier / Reader Printer                                                    

Paper size B&W / Colour Price per copy
A4 B&W £0.40
A3 B&W £0.70
A4 Colour £0.75
A3 Colour £1.40

Reprographic Charges

  • £1.00 per image to scan to a USB  
  • £2.00 per image by email or post.

A Photography Permit is also available which allows the use of your own personal technological device (subject to copyright and preservation considerations).

  • £3 per day
  • £10 per week

All prices given are inclusive of VAT.

Prices do not include postage and packaging.

Some documents are fragile and cannot be produced or may be subject to copyright.


There is a charge for any advanced research work undertaken of

  • £5.00 per quarter hour for the first hour
  • £15.00 for each subsequent hour or part thereof.

The above charges do not include post and packaging.