Whether you've just moved to Crawley and want to know more about the area; or you need help with a local history project, this guide aims to help you get started with links to local organisations and information, online resources, newspapers, photographs and maps.
Whether you have just moved to Crawley and would like to know more about the area; you're researching the history of your family in Crawley; or you need help with a local history project, this guide aims to help you get started with links to local organisations and information, online resources, photographs and maps.
You may also find it helpful to look at our Local Studies Guide to Broadfield.
For more information or enquiries, please contact us.
A current map of Crawley can be found on the Ordnance Survey website
Historic maps of Crawley and Broadfield are also available on the National Library of Scotland Maps Database
Founded in 1899 and originally dedicated to Queen Victoria, the Victoria County History (VCH) is an encyclopaedic record of England's places and people from earliest times to the present day.
Sussex Gardens Trust Reports:
History behind Crawley’s industrial and business park that is a major source of employment in the town.
Images of Crawley
Around 1500 images of Crawley can be found on our West Sussex Past Pictures website.
Go to 'Advanced Search: Catalogue' and search for 'Crawley' in 'Any Text'.
Further images of Crawley are also available on the West Sussex Record Office Online Photo Database
Roger Bastable Collection
The current edition of the Crawley and Horley Observer is available to view at Crawley and Broadfield libraries. Paper copies are kept for one month at Broadfield and one year at Crawley. The last three months of the Mid Sussex Times are also available to view at Crawley. A browsable collection of newspaper cuttings about local topics is kept at Crawley Library.
The Crawley Observer is available on microfilm at Crawley Library from 1946-2016. Back issues from 2017 are available to view on the public computers in all West Sussex Libraries, as searchable digital copies.
Search the library catalogue for more details.
The Crawley & District Observer was originally published as the Sussex and Surrey Courier from 1882-1946. The Sussex and Surrey Courier 1914-1925 and 1939-1945 is available to view on the public computers in all West Sussex Libraries as searchable digital copies. The years 1925 and 1939-1946 are available on microfilm at Crawley Library. The years 1884-1943 are available on microfilm at West Sussex Record Office
The Horsham Times and West Sussex Courier (1882-1941) also covered the Crawley area. It is available to view on the public computers in all West Sussex Libraries, as searchable digital copies for the years 1939-1945. It is available on microfilm at Horsham Library for the years 1882-1940 (incomplete), and on keyword searchable CDRom at Crawley, Horsham and Worthing libraries for the years 1914-1922.
The Times Digital Archive (TDA) includes some coverage of events in Crawley and West Sussex from 1785-2014. Available to all library members from home.
For any enquiries about newspapers, please use our Ask a Librarian form.
Places of Interest
Ifield Watermill is thought to be the only working watermill in West Sussex. In 2018, Crawley Museum moved to a new building:
Gatwick Aviation Museum - Houses a collection of historic aircraft.