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The Local History Centre at Touchstones Rochdale 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.

Discover the past for yourself first hand. Whether you’re interested in local history, want to trace your family roots or just want to know a little more about the street you live on, we can help you find out more.

Resources held by Local Studies include:

  • Parish Records
  • Census returns
  • Trade Directories
  • archives and local newspapers on microfilm. We advise you to telephone to pre-book a microfilm reader in advance.
  • Photographs
  • Ephemera
  • A large collection of over 600 maps and plans including Ordnance Survey maps, estate plans and railway maps
  • Free internet access including is also available. Pre-booking is essential.

There is also a large collection of books, pamphlets and articles which cover all aspects of the areas past. A number of these have also been digitised to allow access to the information via the Internet.

You can find out more about the history of the Local Studies Archive and view images online via the Online Collections page. 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.

Just pop in and our friendly staff will help with your enquiries. It is possible to book a member of the Local Studies Team to undertake some research on your behalf.