Who we are
St Helens Local History and Archives Library has a very broad collection of archival documents concerning the history of St Helens and the north-west region. This is an invaluable resource of national importance containing rare and unique items on the area’s history and is particularly strong on topics relating to the Industrial Revolution and the two World Wars. There is an organised programme for schools on a range of topics at Key Stage 2 including sessions on World War Two, Egyptians, Tudors and Romans as well as an introduction to the work of the Local History Library. The visits allow students to see how broader historical themes are connected to local contexts and provide an opportunity to look at primary source material relating to those themes (such as letters from World War One soldiers), giving the chance for a genuine insight into peoples’ real lives. The Local History Library is a recently re-furbished spacious and welcoming room, located in the iconic Gamble Building that also houses the borough’s Central Library. It is equipped with twelve computers (both PCs and Apple Macs), four reader printers and two large plasma screens. The shelves are well stocked with local history books and St Helens-specific research material with ample space for group activities and demonstrations. In the basement, six archive storerooms house two million documents relating to the history of St Helens and its surrounding area.