Useful research websites and books


Archive CD books exists to make reproductions of old books, documents and maps available on CD to genealogists and historians.

Access to Archives (A2A) is part of the UK archives network. The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.

Old maps is the home of the digital Historical Map Archive for mainland Britain. Part of the historic joint venture with Ordnance Survey, this site contains historical mapping from Ordnance Survey’s County Series at 1:2500 & 1:10 560 scales dating from 1840 to 1948.

The Power in the landscape project explores the mills and the lives of the people around them in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire

British History online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, their aim is to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.


Richard Heaton's Newspaper Collection consists of c.888 free fully searchable extracts and full transcripts of English and Irish, Georgian and early Victorian Regional Newspapers. This is one of the largest free collections covering all counties but principally Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, London, Lancashire Middlesex, Surrey, Worcestershire, & Wiltshire.

British Library Newspaper Archive holds millions of articles from 49 national and regional papers from 1800 – 1900 in a fully searchable archive.

Family history websites 


Family Search

These are just two of the many sites on the internet.

Library websites

Jstor which is a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping the scholarly community discover, use, and build upon a wide range of intellectual content in a trusted digital archive. There is a cost for this.

Internet Archive is a non-profit organisation that was founded to build an internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. This archive is free to access.

Local History groups

Marsden History Group consists of any interested people, and has informal links with Leeds University. Most members are local, but anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to join us. There is no fee or forms - just contact by letter or e-mail.

The Saddleworth Historical Society aims to document the history of Saddleworth, to promote an interest in the area's past, and to facilitate research relating to Saddleworth history. The Society's activities range from prehistory and archaeology to landscape studies and architecture.  Members' interests include the textile industry, the Industrial Revolution, transportation by way of packhorse trails, turnpike roads, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and railways, and family histories.

Haworth Local History on the Haworth Village website

Todmorden Antiquarian Society provides a meeting place for people who are interested in the history of Todmorden and the surrounding area.

Todmorden and Walsden History website offers a glimpse into bygone times of a township on the Lancashire and Yorkshire border through a miscellaneous collection of articles, data and anecdotes.

Hebden Bridge History Society maintains archives and a library which is housed at the Birchcliffe Centre. It runs a number of projects, activities, summer walks and a winter programme of talks.

Halifax Antiquarian Society exists to research, preserve and record the long and rich history of the ancient Parish of Halifax.

Littleborough Historical and Archaeological Society has an extensive archive of material relating to the local history of the town and its environs.

Archives and Local Studies Libraries

West Yorkshire Archive Service exists to preserve the county's heritage of historical documents and to help members of the public make use of them. The Service is funded by the five Metropolitan District Councils in West Yorkshire. Central Library, Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, HD1 2SU

Huddersfield Local Studies Library holds a large collection of books relating to the Kirklees area The main collection of local material is held in the library in Huddersfield. There are smaller collections in Dewsbury, Batley and Cleckheaton.
Address as for West Yorkshire Archives.

Keighley Local Studies Library North Street, Keighley, BD21 3SX

Lancashire Record Office looks after historic documents relating to the county from about 1115 to the present day. Bow Lane, Preston, PR1 2RE.

Rochdale Local Studies Library, Touchstones, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ

Greater Manchester County Record Office 56 Marshal Street, New Cross, M4 5FU

Books and articles

This list contains a selection of books on local history which include water mill sites, some general guides to watermills in England, some more detailed regional studies and articles published in journals. 

In the early days of our own research we used George Ingle’s Yorkshire Cotton, and his enthusiasm and expertise gave us a lot of encouragement. His gazetteer covers the three historic Ridings of Yorkshire and is highly recommended. Sadly this book has gone out of print but is available in reference libraries.

Most of the mills covered in George Ingle’s new book on the Yorkshire Dales are outside the South Pennine region, with the important exception of mills in and around Addingham. However, it is a useful to consult because it includes a section of helpful background information on wool, worsted, flax, cotton and silk etc.

G.R. Binns, Water Wheels of the Upper Calder valley. Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society, 1972.

J.H. Priestley, Mills of the Ryburn Valley, Trans Halifax Ant Society, 1933-34, 41.

J. H. Priestley, Mills of the Blackburn Valley HAS, 1863.

H.W. Harwood, Wainstalls Mills, & Wainstalls, Some Industrial History, HAS 1953.

M. Fox, Saddleworth Textile Mills, Saddleworth Historical Society Bulletin, Vol 19, no 2.

Malcolm & Freda Heywood and Bernard Jennings, A History of Todmorden, Smith Settle, 1996.

Ed. Bernard Jennings, Pennine Valley, a History of Upper Calderdale, Smith Settle, 1992.   

Reg Hindley, Oxenhope; The Making of a Pennine Community, Oxenhope, 2004.

W. Onslow Garnett, Wainstalls Mill, The History of I. and I. Calvert Ltd., 1821-1951, 1951.

Chris Aspin, The Water Spinners. Helmshore Local History Society, 2003.

George Ingle, Yorkshire Cotton, The Yorkshire Cotton Industry, 1780-1835, Carnegie Publishing, 1997.

George Ingle, Yorkshire Dales Textile Mills, 2009.

Martin Watts, Water Mills, Shire, 2006.

Mills Open, ed. Jim Woodward-Nutt, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 2007.      

Power in the Landscape, Water powered mills in the Upper Calder Valley, ATC, 2007.


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