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Cope Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Local History Primary Sources

The Cope Collection includes books, pamphlets, journals, prints, photographs and postcards on all aspects of life in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Printed Primary Sources

The Cope Collection includes a range of printed primary sources for the history of Hampshire, and in particular, Southampton.

The series of directories, guidebooks and newspapers begin in the late eighteenth century, with the arrival of the first local printers and for the earlier period there are the publications of local record societies which contain transcripts or summaries of documents held in local record offices. Visual sources include prints, drawings, photographs and postcards.

On the Local History Primary Sources pages you can find information on local holdings and electronic access for each type of source.  

Record Society Publications

Local record societies publish texts and calendars or summaries of documents held in local record offices.

The older publications of both the Hampshire Record Society and the Southampton Record Society concentrate on the early modern period, but the subsequent series include documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Hampshire Record Society publications are shelved at Cope 06, Southampton Record Society at SOU 06 and Portsmouth Record Series at q POR 06.

Hartley Library Local record society publications for other parts of the country are shelved at DA 670-DA 690.  The publications of all record societies are listed in E.L.C. Mullins Texts and Calendars (1958, 1983) Hist Ref DA 20, with updates provided by the Royal Historical Society

British National Archives

Published editions of documents held in the National Archives provide information on relations between central government and local communities and individuals.

Most of the published texts and calendars are of administrative, judicial and financial records for the early modern period, although in some cases e.g. Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, coverage extends to the eighteenth century.

Issues covered include grants of land and privileges, appointments to office and payments for writs.

You can find descriptions of many of the records in the National Archives Research Guides and Some Notes on Medieval English Genealogy

The publications listed in British National Archives (HMSO Sectional list no.24) are shelved at Hist. S. DA 25.C2C4 to DA 25.C3S in the History Sources section in the Special Collections Open Access area on level 4. 

British National Archives itself is shelved at Hist S. DA 25.

Hampshire Record Society

Hampshire Record Society

Electronic Access

Record Society Publications

  • Internet Archive - includes some early Hampshire Record Society and Southampton Record Society volumes  

British National Archives

  • British History Online - Full-text access to many printed volumes listed in British National Archives; a subscription is required to view some titles
  • Internet Archive - Check for digitised volumes from British National Archives 


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