Local History

We have a great collection of materials to help you discover the history of Luton and the surrounding area, your own family history, or the history of your house. See below for two hat trails ©Luton Borough Council, written in 1998, which given an overview of the town's historic industry.

The collection includes:

  • Local newspapers on microfilm going back to 1874 - see downloads below for PDF of titles and dates
  • The parish registers for Bedfordshire
  • The census for Luton 1841-1911
  • A small collection of photographs illustrating the history of Luton (larger collection at Wardown Park Museum)

The map collection includes:

  • Local town and county maps showing Luton's development over the past 150 years
  • Large scale maps that show the outline of individual properties
  • Goad insurance plane covering the centre of Luton around the late 1800s and early 1900s

There are resources also available at Wardown Park Museum, Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Libraries, and the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Office.

Local and Family History Research Service

We can provide a local history research service which is charged as follows:

  • First 15 mins for free
  • Each following 30 min [or part of]  £15
  • A4 prints + p&p [min £2.50]    50p per print
  • A3 prints + p&p [min £2.50]   £1.00 per print
  • Digital Images [min £2.50] *   25p per image
  • (Email delivery, JPG or PDF formats only)

*Does not include enhancements or manipulation  

Family History

Find out more about your family history through FindMyPast.com, you can access this website at any Luton Library.

The website provides:

  • Most complete England, Wales & Scotland census collection from 1841 to 1911
  • The General Register Office indexes to birth, marriages and deaths 1837-2006
  • Parish records for baptisms, marriages and burials dating from 1538, for many counties
  • Migration records including 24 million passenger list records
  • Military records covering the Boer and first World World Wars

We offer a regular demonstration sessions on how to use the website.


Family History Taster Sessions

  • Family History Taster Sessions (1 hr) £5.00/£2.50
  • Microfilm/fiche Taster Session (1 hr) £5.00 £2.50
  • Find My Past Prints (A4 only)   15p per print
  • Microfilm/fiche prints A4    50p per print
  • Microfilm/fiche prints A3    £1.00 per print