Local history and heritage
The Local Studies Centre is situated on the first floor of the City Library and Arts Centre and is dedicated to the collection of local information, including local and family history.
Its holdings cover the old County of Durham (the land between the Tyne and the Tees) with particular emphasis on Sunderland. It contains over 10,000 books as well as other printed material, such as journals, maps, photographs, newspapers and local records. Current information is also collected to ensure an up-to-date stock that is relevant to all aspects of the study of Sunderland, not solely its history.
What facilities does the Local Studies Centre have?
The Centre has microfilm and microfiche readers, as well as Internet access, for public use. It also has a small study area, where visitors can consult documents.
Church registers, census returns, cemetery records and newspapers are available on microfilm. Various indexes are also available to help your search. Staff will show new users how to use the resources.
Users can obtain copies of records on microfilm, by completing a request form available from the helpdesk or by using the reader-printer. A photocopier is also available in the Centre and all copying is subject to copyright regulations.
Members of staff are always pleased to give any reasonable guidance and assistance to visitors, but are unable to undertake research on their behalf.
Tyne and Wear Archives (TWAS) was set up in 1974, all archives held locally were transferred to their care and since then all archives have gone to TWAS. Durham County Record Office also holds materials for Sunderland.
Sunderland City Council works with many partners to develop Sunderland Heritage. To see copies of these reports please visit the Strategies page.
Sunderland Registrars hold records of births, deaths and marriages which have taken place in Sunderland dating back to 1st July 1837 and can issue copies of those records (certificates). They have begun to digitise their collection and it can be searched on the Registrars Indexes page.