Southampton City Archives

South Shore, Southampton. c. 1890-1900.South Shore, Southampton. c. 1890-1900. Photocrom Print. Library of Congress.

Southampton City Archives is situated on the lower ground floor of the Civic Centre. 

They hold resources relating to the history of Southampton and its people, dating back to 1199.  

These archives include maps, plans, letters, diaries and registers.  Images in their collections include engravings, photographs, negatives, glass lantern slides and postcards. 

Photographs date from the 1860s to the present day, so can be used to discover more about the history of Southampton.

Archives also include title deeds, oral history recordings, minute books and charters.

Whether you are tracing your family history, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment, searching for the history of a house or wanting to learn more about your local community, you will find the resources held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

If you have any documents relating to the history of Southampton that you would like to donate to the Archive, they would love to hear from you.

Contact Information for Southampton City Archives


Southampton City Archives 
Civic Centre 
Civic Centre Road 
SO14 7LY 

Telephone Number:

023 8083 2251 



For details of their directions, opening hours and collections, please visit their Home Page. Details about the Central index of Merchant Seamen is accessible from this page, which was compiled using one million and a quarter navy service record cards.  Dating from 1918-1941, this Index contains details of people serving on British registered ships during this period.  

The Archive has many documents relating to the history of Southampton, which include Southampton corporation records:

  • Town Administration records
  • Property records
  • Finance and trade
  • Justice
  • Poor Relief
  • Military
  • Parliamentary Taxes

Records of Local Boards, commissioners and companies include:

  • Pavement and Improvement Commissioners
  • Southampton Board of Health
  • Shirley Board of Health
  • Board of Guardians
  • Waterworks
  • Southampton School Board
  • St Mary Extra School Board
  • Hound and Sholing School Board

Records of Local Boards, commissioners and companies also include:

  • Itchen Urban District
  • Bitterne Parish Council
  • Millbrook Parish Council
  • North Stoneham Parish
  • South Stoneham Parish
  • Northam Bridge Company
  • Floating Bridge Company

They also have records of Southampton council departments, which incorporate:

  • Architect
  • Building Control
  • Education
  • Engineer
  • Fire Brigade
  • Magistrates Court
  • Motor Taxation
  • Police Force
  • Treasurers

Further details about any of these collections are available.  A list of Southampton mayors from 1217 to 2017 is also accessible.

Location and Directions

The Civic Centre is close to bus stops.  They are 5 minutes walk from Southampton Central Railway Station.  To locate the Archive, follow the signs to the city centre.  


You are able to bring a camera with you to the Office, but you must not start taking photographs until you have obtained permission from the on-duty archivist.


Some publications are available for sale, which include:

  • 1846 Map of Southampton
  • Castleman’s Corkscrew. The Southampton and Dorchester Railway 1844-1848
  • Crossing the Itchen: the Floating Bridge and Roads 1834-1934
  • History of St Michael's Church
  • Minstrels and Players in Southampton 1428-1635
  • Monuments and Memorials in Southampton
  • Old Mills of Southampton
  • Southampton City Charters
  • Southampton Police Force 1836-1856


A refreshments room is available for use by visitors.

Eating establishments are available approximately 5 minutes (¼ mile) walk from the Office.

Research Service

If you are unable to visit in person, a research service is offered, where, for a fee, the Office can conduct research on your behalf.

Readers' Tickets

The Office is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).

Please also view my pages regarding Hampshire Record Office and Portsmouth History Centre.

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