Skip to Content


Family and Local History

West Sussex Past Pictures.

Town & Village Guides Town & Village Guides


Town and Village Guides


Covering a range of resources available for research and general interest on your local area.

West Sussex Past Pictures West Sussex Past Pictures



West Sussex Past Pictures


Thousands of historical images of West Sussex from West Sussex Library Service and local museums.


Marian Frost Marian Frost

Photograph of Marian Frost and the staff of Worthing Museum and Library


Have you seen our blog about Marian Frost, the pioneering Victorian librarian of Worthing Library and Museum?

West Sussex Past Portal West Sussex Past Portal
WW2 & VE Day WW2 & VE Day


Visit our VE Day and WW2 web page for a wide range of resources including photographs, audio clips from  veterans, newspaper reports of the day, plus links to information from other organisations. 

Current Offer › Family & Local History

Family and Local History Family and Local History

If you are currently unable to visit any of our West Sussex Libraries, why not make the most of the time to start to trace your family history or investigate the history of where you live? We can help you get started with exclusive temporary free home access to Ancestry, plus online resources including maps and photographs.


Not a member? Join here

Free Online Resources from West Sussex Libraries Free Online Resources from West Sussex Libraries

To access any of these resources from home, follow the link and where instructed enter your library card number.


The Enquiries Team are to help with any queries.


Ancestry Library Edition


Ancestry is one of the most popular online resources aimed at family history researchers. The worldwide edition includes a wide range of records including census returns, birth, marriage and death records and passenger lists.


Access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.


Click here to log in to Ancestry



Oxford Dictionary of National Biography logo

Dictionary of National Biography is available to library members from home. It gives a huge amount of information on famous or notable people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond. It includes biographies of over 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2016.



Illustrated London News logo

Illustrated London News is available to library members from home. It was the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper. The publication presented a vivid picture of British and world events — including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts, and science — with coverage in the first issue ranging from the Great Fire of Hamburg to Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace.


Times Digital Archive logo

Times Digital Archive (TDA) is available to library members from home. It is an online archive of more than 200 years of The Times, covering 1785 - 2014.



Who's Who and Who Was Who logo






Who's Who and Who was Who is available to library members home. It is an encyclopaedia of influential and noteworthy people in all areas of public life. It includes authors, pop stars, royalty and many more.

National Library of Scotland Maps National Library of Scotland Maps

National Library of Scotland maps logo


National Library of Scotland Maps


Digitised historical maps covering England and Wales as well as Scotland. 

House History House History

If you are researching the history of your house, the National Archives House Research Guide is a good place to start.

West Sussex Record Office also have many sources to help with your investigations.

Family Search Family Search

Family Search logoFamily Searchfree database including billions of indexed records from around the world including UK parish registers and census.

Genuki Genuki

Genuki logo


Genuki genealogical resources and links


Free virtual reference library of genealogical information for the UK and Ireland.

Billion Graves Billion Graves

Billion Graves logo

BillionGraves is the world's largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data, based on images of headstones. You don't need to register in order to search and view basic information including images.


British History Online British History Online

British History Online


A digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain.

Free BMD Free BMD

Free BMD logoFreeBMD 

Transcriptions of the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales.

General Register Office General Register Office

General Register Office

General Register Office 


Search their indexes and order birth, death and marriage certificates online (registration required).

Ask A Librarian Ask A Librarian

Our librarians are here to help answer your questions. If you have a family or local history enquiry fill in an Ask a Librarian form.


Through our free 30 minute enquiry service, we will respond to you with an answer to your query within 7 working days. This service is for everyone in West Sussex, not just library members.

Borrow eBooks Borrow eBooks


You can now borrow e books about Sussex for free with your library card. To mark Sussex Day on 16th June, browse our Celebrate Sussex reading list and download books through our RB Digital Service.

eMagazines eMagazines

Who do you Think You Are and BBC History are both available from our eMagazines


The National Archives The National Archives


The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK Government, and for England and Wales. Currently the National Archives are offering free access to digital records. Registered users will be able to order and download up to ten items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. 

Cyndi's List Cyndi's List


Cyndi's List 


A gateway to genealogical websites around the world.

eNewsletter eNewsletter

We produce a quarterly email newsletter with news and information about researching your family tree.
Sign up for a copy

Past editions - click on the issue to view a copy

Staying Safe Online Staying Safe Online

Don't forget to stay safe online. For the lastest advice, guidance and information: