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General Records William Salt Library

The Library holds a diverse range of material for Staffordshire History encompassing a variety of subject areas. These include:

Printed sources for the history of agriculture, industry, trade, transport, education, religion and the military in Staffordshire, as well as a wide range of other subjects.

Topographical material, which includes Staffordshire county and parish histories, trade directories, sale catalogues, transcripts of manuscript sources held elsewhere, copy tithe maps and awards, theses and other unpublished works.

Antiquarian Notes including notes by Stebbing Shaw, John Huntbach, James Broughton, Thomas Loxdale, Richard Wilkes relating to Staffordshire, as well as notes made by Thomas Hardwicke on the history of Shropshire.

Graphic material. The core element of our graphic collection is made up by the Staffordshire Views Collection, which is a fine series of 3,000 prints, engravings and watercolours relating to all areas of the County. There are also some 300 views relating to other counties. In addition the Library has collections of cartoons, photographs, portraits and postcards.

Papers of some local families including the Parker-Jervis family of Meaford Hall, Stebbing Shaw and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, MP for Stafford [1780-1806].

Staffordshire Newspapers. In addition to a complete run of The Staffordshire Advertiser (1795-1972) the Library holds incomplete runs of the following newspapers: The Staffordshire Chronicle (1878-1955), The Lichfield Mercury (1814-1831), The Tamworth Herald (1918-1964), The Stafford Newsletter (1940-1984), The Cannock Advertiser (1899-1932), The Hednesford Advertiser (1913-1939) and Aris's Birmingham Gazette (1744-1826).

In addition the main public libraries in Staffordshire also hold runs of newspapers for their particular area of the County. 

Staffordshire Journals and Periodicals. These include Staffordshire Life, Staffordshire County Magazine, The Blackcountryman, Staffordshire Catholic History, North Staffordshire Field Club Transactions, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, Staffordshire Archaeological Journal, Staffordshire Industrial Archaeological Journal as well as many others.

Other Journals and Magazines. The Library's collection contains the Gentleman's Magazine [1731-1863], Notes and Queries [1849-1932], Local Population Studies and The Local Historian

Staffordshire Authors. Works of Staffordshire authors including both fiction and non-fiction including Izaak Walton, Anne Seward, Samuel Johnson, Arnold Bennett, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Civil War Material. This incorporates Staffordshire extracts from the Royalist Composition papers (c. 1642-50), Staffordshire extracts from Dr Burney's newspapers (1641-1768), Royal Proclamations, letters and other documents relating to the Civil War in the Midlands.

Ecclesiastical Material. The Compton Census of 1676, a numerical census of "Conformists, Non-Conformists and Papists" forms the main part of this collection. It also includes a large collection of sermons and tracts from the 17th to 19th centuries and Staffordshire parish magazines as well as other pamphlets and volumes on a religious theme.

Out of County Material. In particular this comprises a selection of county and parish histories on places outside Staffordshire, including a number of manuscript documents as well as a number of archaeological and historical journals. Also, the Library has a collection of engravings by John Buckler of buildings and churches in England.

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