Lancashire Record Office collects and preserves documents relating to the history of Lancashire, these documents being held in environmentally controlled strong rooms.
These resources date back some 900 years and include business and society records, church records, family papers, local government archives, and maps and plans.
Resources also include school records, documents, organisational records, manuscripts and photographs.
Collections include details of Lancashire police officers who served between 1840 and 1925 in Lancashire County Constabulary, and sound recordings previously held at North West Sound Archive.
The Office makes these resources freely available to the public.
Whatever your research interest, whether you wish to research your family history, conduct research for a school, college or university assignment, trace the history of a house or study local history, you will find the documents held of use.
The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always happy to offer advice and assistance regarding the documents held and to help you choose the resources most relevant to your research.
For information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and their collections page, which offers access to their Church Registers guide which gives details of Anglican, non-conformist and Roman Catholic Church Registers held.
It is also possible to discover more information regarding Lancashire police officers who served with the Lancashire County Constabulary between 1840 and 1925.
Over 27000 local history publications held by the Archive are list in the Lancashire Library Catalogue.
You are also able to search their collections using LANCAT, their on-line catalogue. The catalogue contains details of their main collections which include:
Some other collections are also held by the Office, including:
They also have old maps of Lancashire, but do not have detailed maps of the counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside formed in 1974.
The North West Sound Archive is administered by Lancashire Archives, and contains holdings relating to the region's oral history.
For opening hours please visit the Office's opening times page.
Although parking is available, including some disabled spaces, this is limited, so you may prefer to use the Park and Ride Service. The buses stop near Preston railway station. The railway station is approximately 5 minutes walk from the Office, there being pedestrian direction signs from the station.
Buses stop near the railway station or Preston bus station, which is approximately 15 minutes walk from the Archive. If you go down Fishergate Hill, taking the first road on the right, Bow Lane, and continue to Arthur Street, the office is to your right.
You do not need to book in advance to visit the Office.
You are able to take your own photographs of documents but this will be under the supervision of staff. Some documents cannot be photographed because they are fragile and easily damaged, and/or because of copyright laws. The Office makes a charge to people using this service.
On payment of a fee, it is possible to order a copy of a document they hold, but you will need to know the document reference. Some documents cannot be copied because of copyright laws and/or because it may harm the document concerned. You will need to complete a copyright declaration form if you take advantage of this service.
If you are unable to visit in person, the Office offers a research service where, for a fee, they can conduct research on your behalf. The Office is able to undertake research in closed records that are not usually open to the public.
If you do not wish to use the research service provided by the Office, they give details of local researchers. For a fee, these agents are willing to undertake research on your behalf.
If your organisation or group wishes to know more about the Office, tours for between 12 and 25 people can be arranged. During this tour, you will be able to find out how the service is run and see behind the scenes.
The visit includes a tour of some of the building, showing of original documents, and an introductory talk. It may also be possible to tour the strongroom, where many resources are held.
If you wish to book a tour, it must be made many months in advance. They are only able to accept enquiries from educational or community groups.
The Office is on Twitter at @lanchistory. Using this account, the Office gives details of events held at the Office, details of their collections and family history, history and local history related news.
Lancashire Archives is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).