Local History Library

Kingston's Local History Library

The Local History Library is located at Kingston History Centre’s search room. This is the first place to visit if you are researching any aspect of Kingston’s history.

The Local History Library contains a large collection of books, pamphlets and other materials about the area’s history. Most of the collection is held on the open shelves for you to browse as reference materials.

Books and pamphlets

We have over 5,000 books and pamphlets about the history of the Kingston area. They include all the standard works, as well as new books as they are published. Topics include transport, military history, natural history, biography and local history. They are arranged by:   

  • General research aids                  

  • Surrey and the South East          

  • Kingston                               

  • Individual places in the borough

Journals

We keep several local journals. These include Surrey Archaeological Collections from issue 1 (1858), London Archaeologist from issue 1 (1968), and East Surrey Family History Society Journal from issue 1 (1977). We also have a large collection of local parish and society magazines, and recent magazines such as Kingston Time and Leisure and Chessington Chat.

Directories

We hold local street directories from 1865 to 1971 (with some gaps) that list both private occupants and trades. Telephone directories from 1969, Yellow Pages and Thomson Directories provide more recent information.

Electoral Registers

Electoral registers are lists of people who are entitled to vote. We hold registers for the Kingston and Surbiton constituencies from 1920 to now. Registers for 1886–1915 are held at the Surrey History Centre in Woking. No registers were taken in 1916 and 1917, no copies for 1918 and 1919 now exist. We also hold lists of the Burgesses of the Borough of Kingston from 1883–1915. These are similar to the electoral registers.