Portsmouth History CentreLast updated: 15 April 2013 16:12 UK
The Portsmouth History Centre comprises the City Records Office plus the library resources available on family, local and naval history. The Centre is also home to the Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens collections. For further information on the resources we hold, please use the links at the bottom of the page.
How to get to the collectionPortsmouth History Centre is on the second floor of Portsmouth Central Library. Access to the searchroom is by a flight of stairs, or a lift. The building is fully accessible to wheelchair users.
Directions by Rail
The collection is easy to reach by train from Portsmouth and Southsea Station. Exit the station building to the left, through the taxi rank and across the road to Guildhall Square. The library is at the far left, past the Civic Offices.
Directions by Bus
The Library is five minutes' walk from the bus stop at Commerical Road South. For additional help with directions please telephone 023 9268 8046.
Directions by Car
Bing Maps provides the location of the library and allows drivers to create directions for travel.
Opening hoursThe Portsmouth History Centre is open during Central Library's usual opening hours.
Using the Portsmouth History CentreTickets
You will be asked to sign the visitors' book. We are members of the CARN registration scheme; if you have obtained a CARN ticket from another Record Office, you can use it here, but if you have not, you can obtain one provided you show us official proof of your name and current address, e.g. driving licence or utility bill. Day tickets can also be obtained.
We ask visitors not to take bags into Portsmouth History Centre, but lockers are available.
Only pencils may be used in the History Centre; ink blots and biro marks will never come off!
Please consult the staff on duty if you would like to photograph a document and to collect a form.
Photocopying is only done at the discretion of History Centre staff - if the condition of the item and copyright regulations permit this. Please consult the staff on duty, who will also be able to explain the scale of charges.
A selection of food, hot meals, sandwiches, cakes, snacks and drinks is available in the cafe on the third floor of the Central Library
Toilets are available on the second floor of the Central Library, alongside Portsmouth History Centre.
Postal research service for genealogy and local historyWhile staff will check resources in the Portsmouth History Centre free of charge for up to half-an-hour, we also offer a comprehensive research service. For a fee, payable in advance, we can undertake up to three hours research in the many sources held in the historical collections.
Many requests for searches are from family historians, but the same service is available to those requesting research in local history.
For further details, or to download an application form to request this research service, see the postal research service for genealogy and local history page.
Links to further informationAccess to Archives
City Records Office
The Charles Dickens and Conan Doyle Collections
Postal research service for genealogy and local history
Contact Portsmouth History Centre staff