Here you will find research tools and links to resources provided by external sites.

This page is always being edited and updated, our intention being to build it into a major library of links for anyone interested in researching their local area.

The national VCH Parish History Template revised 2017 is available to download as a pdf here. For guidance and source material specific to Cumbria see the  VCH Cumbria Project Volunteers' Handbook below.



The VCH Cumbria Volunteers' Handbook, now in its third edition, contains information and guidelines specific to Cumbria. Though the detailed guidelines within it have been superceeded by the fuller, national VCH Parish Template, you will still find our project Handbook useful for source material that relates to Cumbria. The national VCH website also contains other guidance documents, including a checklist of electronic sources.

Links to websites or pdfs giving access to old maps.  Note that we also have lots of scans of old maps in the Gallery

National Library of Scotland (which has old OS maps for all of England and Wales too)

Old OS 6" maps of Cumbria  (for more information about the NLS website)

Old Maps online

The Greenwood map of Cumberland 1822

Old Lancashire maps from Lancaster University 

Cartmel in 1685

The 1773 Backhouse map of Quaker meetings

The British Library Newspaper Archive Website gives access to over 26 million fully searchable pages, featuring more than 700 newspaper titles from every part of the UK and Ireland.

The BNA currently contains 22 papers which cover present-day Cumbria.  Each paper has a link to the required entry in the BNA database, which then makes all pages available.  From here a detailed search facility is offered to allow searching for specific material.

Click here to see the range of papers involved, and to access them 

If you are a member of Cumbria Libraries, you can access these newspapers free of charge on-line at any Cumbria Library with computer access, or at any of the Cumbria Archive Centres

Practical help for anyone who wishes to dig deeper for themselves into the history of their local area, or other aspects of the history of Cumbria. This section contains links to a number of websites (including those below) and pdf documents.

TNA Currency Converter

Regnal Years Converter

TNA Palaeography Tutorial


Here you will find links to various pages and pdfs, and to other websites providing a wide range of sources and resources relevant to the history of Cumbria. This area of the website is used to primarily to locate and 'store' new items posted to the site, and nearly all of these pages will appear elsewhere on the site.  Rather than browse your way through them all (there are over 1000 pages!), use the search engine to find what you are looking for