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Online Primary Sources: Hull History Centre

A guide to finding online primary sources available through the Brynmor Jones Library, Hull History Centre and other free portals.

Hull History Centre


Online primary sources available through Hull History Centre.

Hull History Centre provides access to three main primary source websites: Ancestry, Find My Past, and the British Newspaper Archive. You can also access these sites free of charge at any Hull library. You need to be on site and using a library PC to access them - they are not available remotely.

To use online primary sources provided by Hull History Centre you will need a Hull Libraries card. If you don't already have one, bring some ID with you when you visit and you can register when you arrive.

Check the Hull History Centre website before visiting for up to date information about opening times and any changes to services.

Family history websites

There are two very large family history websites which Hull History Centre provides access to: Ancestry and Find My Past. They both contain a wealth of information beyond the simply genealogical and may be useful if you are studying the history of an area, profession or trade, or for many types of social history.

There is some overlap in the resources they provide - e.g. each contains census records - but each site also partners with different institutions to digitise and make available different records. It is worth investigating the different records available on each site if you think they could be useful for your research.


Hull History Centre provides access to Ancestry Library Edition. This includes millions of UK and worldwide genealogical records from thousands of databases.

As you would expect, Ancestry includes basic genealogical records such as birth, marriage and death registrations and census records. It also partners with institutions to digitise and make available all kinds of other records, such as ships' passenger lists; First World War service records and medal rolls; electoral registers; parish registers; poor law records; and more.

You can browse the Ancestry "card catalogue" without a subscription to see what records are available on the site.

Find My Past

Hull History Centre provides access to the UK edition of Find My Past. Like Ancestry, Find My Past includes basic genealogical records; it also includes the 1939 Register (a census of the civilian population carried out on the eve of the Second World War); parish records, including some for the East Riding of Yorkshire; passenger lists; some First and Second World War records; and more.

Find My Past has also partnered with The National Archives to provide access to the 1921 census.

You can browse Find My Past historical record sets without a subscription to see what records are available on the site.


British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive contains over 68 million pages of digitised publications dating from the 18th century to the 21st century. There are hundreds of local and regional titles represented, including the Hull Packet (1800-1886), the Hull Daily News (1852-1912), and the Hull Daily Mail (1885-1999). The website also includes specialist titles such as The Stage (1880-2007), Music Hall and Theatre Review (1889-1912), The Gentlewoman (1890-1926), Illustrated Police News (1867-1938), and International Woman Suffrage News (1913-1945).

The newspaper pages are scanned and converted into searchable text, allowing you to run more detailed searches using keywords than was ever possible in the past.

Use the BNA Advanced Search to investigate the site's content further, or see the full list of titles.