- Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
- Wednesday – Saturday: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Local Studies Centre at Sparth holds the main Local Studies and Archives collection for Rochdale Borough. This includes a wide range of material relating to the Rochdale area including Castleton, Littleborough, Milnrow, Wardle and Norden. Local Studies material for Heywood and Middleton is held at Heywood and Middleton Libraries.
The formation of the Local Studies Collection dates to the late 1800s when, having realised the value of early administrative companies and family records, the borough librarian began to store material of this nature in deed boxes – one of the earliest items in the Collection is a land grant in Todmorden dating from 1318.
Over the years the Collection has grown to include a wide range of material relating to the Rochdale area including Castleton, Littleborough, Milnrow, Wardle and Norden. Local Studies material for Heywood and Middleton is held at Heywood and Middleton Libraries.
You can find out more about the history of the Local Studies Archive and view books on our books online. Currently only a selection of the collection can be searched online although this database will continue to grow as more of our collections are digitised and our knowledge about them increases.
Church Records, Cemetery Records & Wills
Discover final resting places and gain insights into family histories cemetery records and wills. Browse through our Parish records online.Parish Registers List
Electorial Registers and Historical Burgess Rolls
Uncover the political and civic history of Rochdale, explore the journey of local leaders and discover the roots of democracy in our archives.
Newspapers, Photographs, Maps and Plans
Rediscover the past through our rich collection which includes:
- the Rochdale Observer from 1856 onwards
- Ordnance Survey maps
- Estate plans
- Railway maps
- and much more!
Books, Pamphlets and Articles
Explore culture, knowledge and intellectual heritage of earlier generations through our collection of books, pamphlets and articles.
Assistance and Access to Archives
- Family papers
- Local Authority archives
Internet and Printing Access
- Photocopying & scanning
- Free internet access including free access to FindMyPast and Ancestry
- Enquiry service via post and email for those not able to visit the Centre
Limited computer workstations (3) and 2 microfilm readers.
Public can book computer workstations by telephone/email for the morning or afternoon and are welcome to bring laptops for study.