Whether you are interested in the history of your house, your locality, your town or the borough, then you will find the right information in the ARK.
The ARK at Kirkby Library houses the Borough’s archive collections, documenting many aspects of Knowsley’s history, reaching back to the 13th century.
The ARK also holds an extensive collection of historic maps and plans, mapping out the changing landscape of the borough, with a further collection housed at Huyton Library which covers all of the Knowsley townships with more recent maps.
There are many books available which can help with your research. In addition to its small reference book section, the ARK houses a collection of rare books covering topics of local and regional interest, including the Stanleys, 19th century Liverpool and Lancashire dialect. We also house a significant special collection of local studies reference books and proceedings of local and family history societies. These cover a wide range of topics relating to the rich history of Knowsley, Merseyside and the wider Lancashire area.
In addition, all of Knowsley’s branch libraries have smaller collections of local history books which focus on the locality and the wider history of Merseyside.
Our photographic collection holds thousands of historic images of the Knowsley area. While we upgrade our online access to images, you can view a selection of the photographs here on our flickr account: Knowsley Archives flickr
Oral history is a very important way of capturing an individual’s experiences, whether they be of historic events or of everyday life. Oral history can present that person’s perspective of events in a way that is far more powerful than the printed word alone: it captures emotion and tone and reveals dialect in a way that print can’t. It makes a personal connection between the listener and the narrator that is absorbing and intense.
The oral history collection in The ARK can be split quite neatly into 2 parts, based on when the recordings were made:
- The analogue collection, which features analogue recordings made onto tape cassette and reel to reel during the 1970s by Reference Librarian Mr Tom Scragg and the 1990s by Local History Librarian Mrs Eileen Hume;
- The digital collection, initiated through the HLF funded Talking Kirkby project in 2015.
The recordings are available to listen to in the ARK or online on our Soundcloud page, where you can discover extracts from both the analogue and digital sessions: Knowsley Archives Soundcloud
For information online about the historic townships of Knowsley, you can browse our website, Knowsley Local History: It’s People and Heritage. Here you will find a wealth of information and historic images of Knowsley’s past.
The Kirkby Centre
Telephone: 0151 443 4365 / 4291