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Local History and Archives

Opening Times

Due to essential building maintenance Central Library and Archive will be closed for a period of approximately 29 weeks.

Customers may use any library in St Helens during the closure. The quick returns box will still be available Monday – Friday in Central Library and will be situated in the foyer of the Gamble building. 

The opening hours of Parr, Peter Street, Thatto Heath, Haydock, Eccleston and Rainhill Libraries have been extended during this closure.

Please see the current list of temporary opening times.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Family History Research

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

We will continue to answer emails whilst the Archive is closed. Post-war Electoral Registers are available at Eccleston Library during the closure of Central Library. 

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

View our Local History and Archive Catalogue.

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.