The free directory of one-place studies on the web

Category Archives: Resources

Watercolour World

Watercolour World online database

Watercolour World have created a free online database of documentary watercolours painted before 1900.

Before the invention of the camera, people used watercolours to document the world. Over the centuries, painters – both professional and amateur – created hundreds of thousands of images recording life as they witnessed it.

Every one of these paintings has a story to tell, but many are hidden away in archives, albums and store rooms, too fragile to display. Watercolour World exists to bring them back into view.

For the first time, you can explore these fascinating visual records on a world map, search for topics that are important to you, and compare watercolours from multiple collections in one place.

Watercolour World hope that this project will not simply preserve the watercolour record but revive it, sparking new conversations and revelations.

Check out Watercolour World now to see if your One Place Study location is featured.

The Local Historian – free access

BALH (The British Association for Local History) has made all online back issues of The Local Historian (their quarterly journal) free to download for the duration of the pandemic crisis. Usually only those older than three years are available to access free of charge.

The Local historian - free access

Be sure to take a look. There are loads of interesting articles that may help your research or trigger ideas to pursue for your One-Place Study.

Click here to access back copies for download

British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO)

The British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO) project is a partnership between the Institute of Historical Research and the Furniture History Society.

The BIFMO mission is to serve as the one-stop definitive resource for British and Irish furniture makers from the beginning of the 17th century to the onset of the Great War, by providing the details of furniture manufacturers and suppliers: their organising structures, their clientele, the material they produced and the services they provided.

The newly redesigned search facility makes it possible to carry out both simple and analytical queries.  At the most basic level it acts as a searchable directory of furniture makers and associated trades, providing access to names, occupations, dates, the locations of artisans and tradespeople, the products they supplied and the clients and patrons they served. However, BIFMO now also has the ability to carry out statistical and quantitative queries to inform social and economic analysis.

Cumbrian Railway Employees

The Cumbrian Railways Association has created a database of references to Cumbrian Railway Employees.

The database comprises over 28,000 records derived from a large number of sources including official railway documents, committee minutes and staff records, staff magazines, accident and newspaper reports, local directories and many more. The database covers the period from the earliest days of the railways in Cumbria up to the 1920s. It is strongest in references from West Cumbria. The database is published in alphabetical order as a series of pdfs.

Search for Cumbrian Railway Employees now!

With special thanks to Oxenholme One Place Study for bringing this database to our attention,

Canadian First World War Database Completed

42nd Battalion

Massive congratulations to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) on completing the digitization of all Canadian military personnel records from World War 1.
It took five years of work, encompassing over 30 million digitized images and 540 terabytes of data, but they now have a complete database of more than 620,000 files accessible online! 
Explore the personnel records of the First World War Database now – the advanced search options allow you to search by place of birth or place of enlistment.
LAC also invite you to visit the 100 Stories section of their website to learn more about some of the many brave men and women who sacrificed so much for freedom and peace.

Historic England Photographic Collection

Historic England have made available online the Architectural Red Box Collection started by the National Buildings Record back in 1941 to document England’s built heritage, especially those buildings threatened or damaged by bombing during World War 2.

Photographs were mounted on cards and placed into red boxes, hence the name of the collection! The boxes have been arranged by place following the county and civil parish structure introduced back in 1974. Some boxes originally contained cards for more than one place but Historic England have separated these creating a “virtual” box for each place.

England's Places: A person looking at a box amongst the shelves

Historic England say:

The core of the collection came from photographic records collected by the Courtauld Institute of Art in the 1930s. Over the following years new images were added, including photography taken for the National Buildings Record, and collections acquired from both commercial and amateur photographers. The collection was closed to new material in 1991.

Subjects include churches and country houses, historic buildings and modern architecture. There are street scenes and village-scapes which bring to life Victorian and Edwardian England, alongside photographic records of buildings threatened with destruction during the mid 20th century.

he red box 3

Some images in the collection even date from the earliest days of photography in the 1850s!

Search the England’s Places collection now!

GRO PDF Pilot Extended – Again!


The General Register Office (GRO) has been piloting a service in England & Wales providing PDF copies of historical birth and death records.

The pilot, originally extended to July 2018, has now been extended further to continue to assess longer term demand and there is no planned end date at this time.

The GRO say further communications will be provided in due course.

Applications for PDF’s cost £6, must be made online and include a GRO index reference. England and Wales records available in this extended pilot include:

  • Births: 1837 –1917
  • Deaths: 1837 –1957

Click here to register/log in/search the indexes.

City of London Cemetery – Burial Registers

The City of London Cemetery is one of the largest municipal cemeteries in Europe and anyone may be buried there irrespective of City connections or religious beliefs.

Images of their general burial registers comprising 440,000 historic records dating from 24 June 1856 to 7 October 1955 are now available online.

The registers can be browsed by date but sadly there is no facility to search by name.

Berkshire Enclosures

Ancestors from Berkshire or a one-place study there?

Take a look at the New Landscapes: Enclosure in Berkshire site to learn more about the process of enclosing the common fields of the county of Berkshire between 1738 and 1883. 

Altogether approximately 160,000 acres, or approximately one-third of the total land area of the county, were enclosed by Parliamentary means between these dates. However, the process was not a steady one, and enclosure did not take place evenly across the county during that period.

New Landscapes provides access to historic manuscript maps and land award documents online.

Explore the site to find out more about enclosure and view digital images of the documents themselves. You can search by parish or search by map.

Ireland Illustrated 1680-1860

Ireland Illustrated 1680-1860 is a database of over 500 images of Ireland, with accompanying text, drawn from more than 50 manuscript and printed works, and highlighting several neglected or rarely accessible sources. It contains original short studies and aims to stimulate further research by drawing attention to scarcely known items in libraries in several countries, among them Denmark, Wales, England and France.

The database contains complete records for 505 digitized images, 125 authors and artists, and 53 individual travel accounts. Images are categorized, described and, where possible, their creators are identified and a biographical note included.

Click on the map image below to be taken to the interactive map showing images by location.

Copyright for each image resides with the source Library. Images are provided for the purpose of research, teaching, private study, and general interest. Written permission should be sought for any commercial use.


PopulationsPast, a new online interactive Atlas of Victorian and Edwardian Population, is now live!

Explore regional and local variations in a range of demographic and household indicators and how these changed between 1851 and 1911, zoom in to focus on particular areas, compare two maps side-by-side, and download the underlying data much of which has been calculated from individual level census data. More resources will be added over the coming months.

PopulationsPast was created by a team led by Dr Alice Reid of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure (Campop) at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, with help from colleagues at the Universities of Essex and Leicester.