Explore the past through our archive collections
Our collections reveal fascinating information about people and places in Worcestershire, from the eleventh century to present day. Whether you’re on site at The Hive or trying to find information from home, there are a number of ways to search through our archival resources and collections. The majority of our catalogues are only available in hard copy at The Hive, but the information available online is growing and will continue to do so.
- Archive Catalogue
- Maps – pre 1849 maps, 1850-1899, 1900-1929, 1930 to present
- School Records
- Local Studies Library (Library Catalogue)
- Worcester Records (Worcester City Corporation/Council)
- Manorial Documents Register
Not all our collections are listed online but these, together with the catalogues we have made available on The National Archives website, will be a good start.
Our experienced archive team, with support from volunteers, have developed a number of useful archival resources to help you to access the collections:
Looking for something in particular?
- Absent Voters, Worcester City, 1918
- Absent Voters, Worcestershire, 1918
- Absent Voters, Worcestershire, 1919 Spring
- Absent Voters, Worcestershire, 1919 Autumn
- Apprentices listed in the Parish collections
- Artists of Worcestershire
- Photographs in Berrow’s Illustrated Supplement, 1914-1915
- Photographs in Berrow’s Illustrated Supplement, 1916-1918
- Worcestershire Quarter Sessions, Calendar of Prisoners, 1839-1849
- Worcestershire Quarter Sessions, Court Papers, 1830, 1850-1857 (chronological)
- Worcestershire Quarter Sessions, Court Paper, 1830, 1850-57 (alphabetical by surname)
- Marriage Licenses, 1853-1916
- Militia list for Kidderminster St Mary, 1824-1831
- Wills collected by Mr Greenbank
- Wills from the Peculiar parishes of the Diocese of Worcester
- Worcester City, List of Freemen, 1786-1860
We are happy to offer advice on historical sources and provide information on our holdings free of charge if you are unable to visit us. If your request involves a search in the collections – for example, a parish record search – there will be a charge to cover staff time. Please see our list of charges for further information.
Information held elsewhere
Information from Worcestershire collections can also be found on websites hosted by other organisations. We’d always suggest looking on The National Archives catalogues, alongside looking at the Malvern Family History Society, Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry, FreeBMD, Ancestry, and Find My Past.
A really good guide to Worcestershire parishes and sources available was compiled by the former Worcester BMSGH, although is not being updated.
For Worcestershire birth, marriage and death certificates please contact Worcestershire Registration Services who hold these, although the indexes can be searched on family history websites.
Using our collections
Starting archival research can be daunting and it can be difficult to know where to start. Our downloadable 70-page family history research guide is the perfect place to start. This guide explains what collections we hold, how they can be used for research, and how you can get hold of the genealogy information you need. Find out more about the guide and how to purchase:
The following leaflets, available free of charge, may also be helpful:
Links to the leaflets listed below.
- Want to trace your Family Tree
- Discovering Local History at The Hive
- Exploring Local History with Children
- Discovering the History of your House at The Hive
If you have any questions or queries about our collections, would like to order copies of documents or to ask us to undertake research on your behalf please contact us. There is a charge for copies and research to cover staff and the time taken to support your research. Please see our policy on answering enquiries for information to understand the kind of archival work we are able to undertake.