What is in the catalogue?

The Archives and Local History Centre holds a vast number of archives, filling over two miles of shelving. It is very difficult to quantify the size and diversity of our collections but some of the main categories are given here:

Archive collections

The main categories of records in the catalogue include:

Official records: quarter sessions, magistrate court and hospital records.

Local Government: Records of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and its predecessors, and urban and rural district councils prior to 1974. These records include minute books, financial records including rate books, building plans, school records, workhouse registers, motor vehicle licensing records, and maps and plans.

Church and Chapels: A large collection of parish records including parish registers, Parochial Church Council minutes, incumbent's papers and printed material, as well as non-conformist records covering many denominations

Business and Industrial: Records of local businesses and industry including Henry G. Richardson & Sons Ltd.; Royal Brierley Crystal and the Williams-Thomas Family; Round Oak Steel Works Ltd.; Cannon Industries, Coseley; John Bradley & Co. (Stourbridge) Ltd.; Wright Hingley Ltd.; and Walter Somers, plus records of local mines and many smaller businesses.

Individual, Family and Estate: Personal papers, deeds, estate papers and maps from local families and individuals including the Dudley Estate Collection, Bert Bissell, Samuel Cook, the Collis family, Trevor Genge and former councillors Tim Sunter, Jack Wilson and Dr Kate Rogers.

Solicitor's collections: Records from local solicitors including Harward and Evers, Stourbridge; Turner Bayley Thompson Warmington; and Slater and Camm, Dudley.
These collections include title deeds, plans, estate papers, Enclosure awards and office records.

Local Studies Collection

The main types of records include:

Books and pamphlets: 19th century and modern printed material covering Dudley Borough and surrounding areas, and more general material on the Black Country. There is also a collection of family history material including printed parish registers, monumental inscriptions and a large number of guides and manuals. In addition biographies of local people and books written by local people e.g. novels, poetry and text books are also held.

Annual Reports: Large collection of reports including material produced by Dudley MBC, local hospitals and organisations.

Trade directories: collection of 19th and 20th century Dudley trade directories including Pigot's National directories and Kelly's Directories for Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

Newspapers: An extensive collection of original local newspapers which are viewable on microfilm, including the Dudley Herald, the Brierley Hill Advertiser and the County Express

Journals and Newsletters: collection of local newsletters and journals, as well as some regional and general ones.

Photographs: large collection of photographs of Dudley Borough and surrounding areas, and the Black Country.

The information on the online catalogue is updated on a regular basis but if a collection is very new to the service it may take a short time to come through to the on-line catalogue so please check for updates, or contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for.

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