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Information and Reference

Looking for an Answer? Try the library...

In Wirral there are three central reference libraries at Birkenhead, Bebington and Wallasey. All three offer a fantastic range of quality information resources, completely free to Wirral Library borrowers. These include business directories, government publications, yearbooks, maps, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, national and local newspapers and periodicals for finding quick facts or background information to help your studies and projects.  


Why not let us help you with your research?

You can visit us on the first floor of Birkenhead Central Library, phone us on (0151) 606 2665 (remember to ask for Birkenhead Reference Library), or email us at and we'll help as much as we can. If you're not in the area you can fill out this research request form. There is a charge of £10.50 per half hour for this service.


Find the answer here - Books and newspapers in full, on line, and completely free to use 24 hours a day

Users of Wirral libraries can access our fantastic range of free online reference resources. There are resources for business information, family history, music, newspaper articles and much more, all freely available at every Wirral library and to library members at home.

Find out more about our online resources


Local & Family History Resources

Wirral Reference Libraries hold a wealth of resources for those with an interest in family and local history.

The Birkenhead Reference Library resources include:




Bhead Mkt c1900

 An extensive photographic collection.

You can now access Birkenhead Reference Library's Inclusive Photographic Index online.

Please take your time to select a village, school, pub, market, church or road and see if we have a record of your chosen memory from years gone by. Then come along and take a trip down memory lane.

Collections available include: -

1904 Wirral Photographic Survey undertaken by Dr Theodore Green, Birkenhead Photograhic Library, Culls, Frith, Fowler, Griffiths, Postcard, and the recently added Bob Pullan collection.

In total they amount to over 11,000 images of Wirral's heritage.

Why not peruse the index, make a note of your selection and come and view the images at Birkenhead Reference library.


Newly available online:  'Wirral Remembers 1914 - 2014'

This is a list of all the books and other material in Birkenhead Reference Library related to World War I, available for use and consultation. Some material is unique and not always on public display.


Other resources available include: 

Census Returns
- from 1841 upto 1911, available on microfilm, fiche, CDROM or Internet.

Electoral Registers - these list members of a household eligible to vote. From 1862 to date.

Newspapers - an archive of local papers from 1880 to date.

Maps - such as Rights of Way: Ordnance Survey from 1870's to date: Tithe maps: GOADs (these are detailed street maps).

Trade Directories - these are lists of private residents accessible by name or street. A range of date held, from1750s to 1970s.

Parish records - these are the copied registers of all baptisms, marriages and burials in the parish churches across the Wirral.

At Birkenhead Reference Library we hold : -

- Bebington St Andrew
- Bidston St Oswald
- Birkenhead All Saints and St Bede
- St Anne
- Holy Trinity
- St James
- St John
- St Mary
- St Matthew
- St Paul
- St Peter
- Bromborough St Barnabas
- Burton St Nicholas
- Eastham St Mary
- Farnworth Parish
- Frankby St John Divine
- Great Sutton St John Evangelist
- Heswall St Peter
- Hoylake Holy Trinity
- Ince St James
- Liscard alias Egremont St John
- Moreton Christ Church
- Neston St Mary & St Helen
- New Brighton St James
- New Ferry St Mark
- Thurstaston St Bartholomew
- Upton ( Overchurch) St Mary
- Wallasey St Hilary
- West Kirby St Bridget
- Willaston Christ Church
- Woodchurch Holy Cross

Cemetery Records - these give details of burials across the borough.

Rolls of Honour and Monumental inscriptions.

Council Proceedings from 1880.

Online Resources - Include the genealogical website and 19th Century British Newspapers.

Local and family history journals and transactions

 - Birkenhead History Society Newsletter.  Issues available from 1974 to present. Hard copy of index available at Birkenhead Reference Library.

- Camden Series (Royal Historical Society)

  • Third Series (1900-1963).  Hard copy index available at Birkenhead Reference Library and index online 
  • Fourth Series (1969-1993). Hard copy index available at Birkenhead Reference Library and index online 
  • Fifth Series (1993-present). Hard copy index available at Birkenhead Reference Library and index online 

- Cheshire Ancestor (The journal of the Family History Society of Cheshire).  1987 to present

- Chetham Society (The)

  • Old Series, 1843-188
  • New Series, 1883-1947
  • Third Series, 1949-present

Hard copy index available at Birkenhead Reference Library and online

- Family Tree Magazine.  Issues from 1997 to June 2010.  Article Index Online.

Genealogists’ Magazine- Journal of the Society of Genealogists.  Back issues kept for a year. Local articles kept permanently.

- Lancashire Parish Register Society.  Hard copy index available for articles relating to the Wirral. Full index available online 

- Local Historian (The)- Journal of the British Association for Local History.  Back issues held for a year. Local articles kept permanently.

- Local History News- Magazine of the British Association for Local History. Back issues kept for a year. Local articles kept permanently.

- Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.  Hard copy index available at Birkenhead Reference Library and online

- Recusant History (the journal of the Catholic Record Society).  Index available online

- Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire

Your Family Tree.  Issues available from 2011 onwards.

Acts of Parliament

Birkenhead Reference Library has all the Public Acts of Parliament (uk) going back to 1890 in hard copy. The Public Acts for 2014 are now on TALIS and will be in future. For example the Immigration Act 2014 and Pensions Act 2014.

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