Local studies at Ilkeston Library

The Local Studies section at Ilkeston Library is housed in the Reference Library, on the top floor of the building.


Here you will find all kinds of material relating to Ilkeston and its neighbouring villages, with background material on Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the North Midlands.

These sources can be used for many purposes: studying the history or present state of local communities, the development of local industries and transport, social and political history and family history.

The book collection has some 4,000 volumes, including works by local authors, and standard works such as Trueman's History of Ilkeston (1880, revised 1899), Ward's Dale and its Abbey, and the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire volumes of the Victoria County History.

Many items are displayed on open shelves but many more are stored in reserve. All are listed in the local and regional card indexes. Staff will fetch items for you on request and assist you with any enquiry. 

Periodicals include:

  • Derbyshire Archaeological Journal from 1879
  • Derbyshire Miscellany from 1956
  • Derbyshire Life and Countryside from 1931
  • Parish magazines of Ilkeston St Mary and St Bartholmew, Kirk Hallam and Awsworth, Cossall, Trowell 
  • West Hallam local magazine.

The Trade Directories, covering the period from around 1820 to the 1970s, give contemporary information about Ilkeston and its neighbouring villages, including listings of local industries, crafts and trades. Most known local directories are available in photocopy format. There is a complete set for Derbyshire on microfiche and a few are also available in book form. 

Printed minutes of local authorities are held: Ilkeston Borough Council 1887-1974, Erewash Borough Council 1974 to present, and Derbyshire County Council for three years. There is also a good run of Ilkeston electoral registers from 1958 to 2001. From 1963 a number of nearby villages have also been included.

The library has almost complete files, on microfilm of all known Ilkeston newspapers:

  • Ilkeston Advertiser 1881 to present
  • Ilkeston News 1855 to 1858
  • Ilkeston Leader 1861 to 1863
  • Ilkeston and Erewash Valley Telegraph 1868 to 1879
  • Nottingham Review 1808 to 1870 (incomplete)
  • Ilkeston Pioneer 1853 to 1967
  • Ilkeston Journal 1896 to 1900
  • Ilkeston Observer 1923 to 1927
  • The Gazette 1933 to 1939
  • Ilkeston and Ripley Trader 1982 to present
  • Ilkeston Express 1989 to present.

Some years have been indexed in detail, in particular most of the period from the early 1950s to the present. Prior booking of the microfilm reader and printer is strongly recommended. 

In addition, special topic files containing news cuttings, leaflets and ephemera have been compiled on numerous subjects. These include local places, personalities, firms, industries, transport, planning proposals, shopping schemes and utilities.

These files are particularly detailed from 1953 to the present but also contain much earlier material. They are added to regularly, and are often the most detailed, or indeed only source of information on the topics covered. Local newspapers have been systematically indexed since the mid 1970s and some work has been done for earlier periods. 

Other resources at Ilkeston:

  • Around 4,800 illustrations, mainly black and white photographs, but including some transparencies. They cover the period from around 1880 to the present and include events, places, buildings, local personalities, and transport, providing a visual record of change over the years. A separate card index to the illustrations collection is available on request.

  • About 1,000 maps and plans, covering especially the period from around 1835 to the present day. These are a most useful source of information for changes in the landscape and the growth of towns and villages, mineral extraction and changes in industry, transport networks and field patterns over the years. You can see Ordnance Survey large scale 6 inch and 25 inch plans of the area some 3 to 4 miles around Ilkeston, from 1880 to the present; and 50 inch plans of Ilkeston from around 1960 to the 1990s. There is also the 1:500 scale town plan of Ilkeston around 1880 and a digitised copy of the manuscript map of Ilkeston of 1866 at a scale of one chain to the inch (1:792) by R. Sherwood Newman. Other types of mapping such as Geological Survey and shopping centre plans enhance the record. A Guide to the map collection, topographical and alphabetical card indexes make the collection easy to use.

  • Census Enumerators' Returns for Ilkeston and its neighbouring parishes, from 1841 to 1901, are available on microfilm.  Surname indexes are now available for 1851 to 1891. The main places covered include Ilkeston, Cotmanhay, Awsworth, Cossall, Shipley, Trowell, Dale Abbey, Risley, Sandiacre, Stanton by Dale, Stapleford, West Hallam, Stanley, Morley, Mapperley, Smalley, and the adjoining Nottinghamshire area.  Statistical reports for Derbyshire are also held, from 1881 onward, showing population growth, migration etc. including the 1981 and 1991 Small Area Statistics series, for Ilkeston and parishes within a 3 mile radius.

  • Special loan collections of works by and about D.H. Lawrence (1885 to 1939) and Rudolph Steiner (1861 to 1925). A collection of works by local publisher Moorley's Bible and Bookshop, now Moorley's Print and Publishing, is also maintained.

  • A separate Family History collection of some 230 titles has been established, including guides to research, and key titles in the genealogical field.

  • Some important local authority archive material is held including the Derbyshire County Council monthly unemployment statistics from 1993 and the regional Weather Report from 2000. Also, on microfilm are:

    • building control registers of Ilkeston Local Board from around 1870-1887 and Ilkeston Borough Council, 1887 to 1923
    • canal boat registers 1878 to 1946
    • Ilkeston Parish and Borough rate books 1849, 1914, and a volume covering 1920 to 1938
    • Ilkeston Sunday School Union Minute Books 1914 to 1956
    • Shipley School log books 1881 to 1916
    • Stanton Road Cemetery records from around 1864 to 1947.

Go to Ilkeston Library

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