Local History

image of local historianLocal studies material documents the history and development of the East Dunbartonshire area, from the earliest times up to the present day. The collections are freely accessible at all libraries.

A wide range of published and unpublished sources are held, including both historical and current information about the local area. The collections, due to their local nature, are unique and valuable, and will be preserved for future generations. The areas covered include Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs, Campsie, Baldernock, Bearsden, and Milngavie.

You can use local studies material to research the many aspects of your local area - towns and villages; streets; buildings; people; events; industries; transport; historic sites; sport and leisure, as well as other features. The collections can help you with family history research.

Discover and learn more about the places, people and events connecting you to the past. 

The Local Studies Collections

Find out some fascinating history and stories of the local area - Kirky’s shipbuilding industry (in a landlocked town!); the area’s rich Roman history and Antonine Wall; Campsie’s most famous visitor and pioneer balloonist, Vincent Lunardi; why Lenzie was originally named Campsie Junction; the spindly Spider Bridge, for many years a monument to one very heated dispute; Rita (Cowan) Taketsuru, the wife of the Japanese whisky maker; Thomas Muir – the Father of Democracy; the growth of the New Kirk settlement into today’s Bearsden; George Bennie and his revolutionary Railplane; and many, many more.   

Books and pamphlets

Eighteenth century titles to the latest local publications, covering parish, town and village histories, titles covering specific subject areas, biographies, statistical information, and Council report literature.

Maps

Ordnance Survey (OS) map series from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, at various dates and scales, covering parts of the old Counties of Dunbartonshire, Stirlingshire and Lanarkshire. The series includes 1st edition maps c. 1865 and 2nd edition maps c. 1899. A range of other maps and plans (not OS) covering aspects of the local area are also available.

Newspapers and periodicals

Local newspapers from the nineteenth century to the present, covering the whole of East Dunbartonshire, including the Kirkintilloch Herald (1886 - present) and the Milngavie & Bearsden Herald (1901 – present). A small number of periodicals, including articles of local interest, are held.

Photographs

An extensive collection of photographs from around the start of the twentieth century providing a visual history of all aspects of life in the local area, in days gone by. Visit our online photo library where thousands of historic photos of East Dunbartonshire can be accessed and viewed online.

Subject information files, news cuttings, ephemera

A wide range of subject related information held in print format, supplementing the local history book collection, reflecting life in East Dunbartonshire, past and present.

Online Information Services

The following online services can be useful for local and family history research: Statistical Accounts of Scotland; ScotlandsPlaces; Ancestry; Scotsman Digital Archive; British Newspaper Archive. You can also view and access our full range of online services.

Family History

A range of resources (print, microfilm and online) are available which will assist you with genealogical and family history research, helping you to trace your Scottish ancestry, as well as ancestors further afield.

Reference collection

To assist general reference research, and also to assist local and national history research, an extensive reference book collection is held at Archives & Local Studies, William Patrick Library, Kirkintilloch. Smaller reference collections are held at all other libraries.

Enquiries

We offer a free enquiry service, up to 30 minutes research, for anyone who is unable to visit the library. This includes advice and information on conducting your research and help with identifying appropriate resources. We can supply photocopies and scanned images of documents, availability and use covered by copyright legislation. Enquiries are welcome in person, by phone or email. For more extensive research you will need to visit the Local Studies Library yourself or employ a professional researcher.

Access and services

Many local studies items are on the library catalogue, Indexes and resource guides are available in the library to help you find the information you need. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you with your research and use of the collections. If you require further assistance with your research, please contact the Information & Local Studies Officer. Computer and internet access, and printing, also reprographic and fax services are available.

How to find us

The main Local Studies collections are held at two locations. Collections relating to the Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs, Campsie and Baldernock areas are kept at Archives & Local Studies, William Patrick Library, Kirkintilloch; collections relating to the Bearsden and Milngavie area are kept at Bearsden Library. Smaller collections are held at all other libraries.

Local Studies contact details and opening hours

Bearsden Library
166 Drymen Road
Bearsden
G61 3RJ

Telephone: 0141 777 3021
Fax: 0141 777 3022
Email: libraries@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Monday – Thursday, 10am – 8pm; Friday & Saturday, 10am – 5pm

William Patrick Library
2 - 4 West High Street
Kirkintilloch
G66 1AD

Telephone: 0141 777 3142
Fax: 0141 777 3140
Email: libraries@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Monday – Thursday, 10am – 8pm; Friday & Saturday, 10am – 5pm


Contact details and opening hours for all other libraries can be found on the Libraries Opening hours page