Additional Sources on Historic Buildings and Sites
Anyone interested in carrying out research into historic buildings and sites may find the following sources useful in addition to the National Heritage List for England and the local historic environment record.
Gaining an understanding of what is and is not important about a building or site (its significance) is vital to understanding how it may be developed and used to best effect in the interests of the owner and of conservation. It will make decisions about whether consent is needed and what is likely to gain consent much plainer and will save time and money. Understanding the history and significance of the place will enable that interest to be exploited.
Local libraries are usually an important resource of local historical information providing access to local records as well as guidebooks and maps.
In addition to Local Authority Historic Environment Records, many counties maintain their own websites and records of local historic interest. There are also many local history and related societies which run courses and can provide relevant local information to anyone researching into a particular area or property.
Historic England Archive
The Historic England Archive is the public archive of Historic England and holds over 12 million photos, plans, drawings and publications on archaeology, listed buildings, aerial photography and social history covering the whole of England.
The National Archives is the UK Government's official archive and holds over 1000 years of public records which can be researched both online and at its headquarters in London.
Local History Online
This website contains useful information as well as many links and contact details for local history societies.
British History Online
This is a digital library containing some of the core printed sources for medieval and modern history of the British Isles.
Researching Historic Buildings
This website provides a comprehensive guide to investigating the history of all types of buildings.
Access to Archives
This is a UK archives network which contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales; with records dating from the 8th Century to the present day.
The British Library
The British Library has a comprehensive record including rare books and manuscripts, maps, Parliamentary papers, topographical prints and drawings and architectural drawings.
The Royal Institute of British Architects Catalogue
This institute holds architectural books and journals, biographical files and nomination papers and an architectural photographic archive
The Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A holds the main RIBA Drawings Collection and has an excellent picture library.
The Pevsner Index
This is the Buildings of England database created from Pevsner's Buildings of England series.
The Survey of London
A detailed architectural survey of London in volumes available online.