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The Local Studies Collection

The Local Studies Collection, located in the Local Studies Centre, encompasses a variety of different resources: printed books, photographs, maps, newspapers, pamphlets and slides.

These resources relate particularly to the past, present and future life of this Borough and more generally to Surrey and Greater London (especially south of the Thames). We have especially strong collections of material relating to Croydon Airport and the River Wandle.

The Local Studies Collection is on "open access" which means there is no need to make an appointment to use it and much of the material may be photocopied. Please remember to bring some form of identification with you, such as a Sutton Library Ticket, a drivers' licence or a library ticket from a different authority or county record office.

Some examples of material in the Local Studies Collection:

  • Around about 20,000 photographs of the local area dating from the 1860s onwards. B/W copy prints can be ordered.
  • Local Newspapers dating from the 1860s (these are available on microfilm from Level 4 of the Central Library)
  • Local Directories dating from the 1860s to 1938
  • Electoral Registers from the 19th century to the present day
  • Newspaper cuttings on selected topics dating from the 19th century
  • Ordnance Survey maps (in three scales) dating from 1868 to 1998
  • Census returns for the local area every ten years 1841-1901 inclusive, plus surname indexes from 1841-1891