Local studies - research services

If you're carrying out research, we always recommend you visit us to make the most of our resources.

However, we appreciate this is not always possible. We can help you...

Answer simple questions

We can answer questions requiring a simple ‘yes/no’ response, for example “do you have a copy of x book?” free of charge – please email us at localstudies.library@derby.gov.uk

Provide copies of library materials

If you can provide exact references - title, author, page numbers and ideally the library reference number, we can provide copies of items for a small charge (within copyright and document preservation restrictions). Simply email us with your copying request and we will provide a quote for the cost.

Carry out research on your behalf

Most enquiries, even seemingly straightforward questions, can require time to search catalogues, indexes, listings or other resources to obtain the answer. We offer two different paid services:

Catalogue search service

Library staff can conduct a scoping exercise on your behalf for a fee, checking our finding aids to establish whether we have materials relevant to your topic of interest.

What does the catalogue search charge cover?

You can search our online catalogue yourself – however this does not yet include our collections of photographs, engravings, maps and plans and many deposit collections have more detailed contents listings only available in the library. A member of staff will conduct a search of our catalogues, indexes and other finding aids and provide you an indication of what we have searched and the relevant references we have found. Where a small number of references are found, we will provide a detailed list. Where large numbers of references are found, we will provide a general indication of the types of material and coverage they offer.

Once you know what is available, you may decide it is worth visiting in person to view the material. Alternatively you can request copies of specific items, or take up our research service for more detailed study.

What information do you need from me?

Please make your catalogue search request as specific as you can. Accurate dates, locations and names are helpful and will improve our chances of success. Please include any additional information that you think may help, including sources you have already consulted and information you already have.

How much is a catalogue search?

We charge £7.88 for up to 30 minutes' search time.

How can I pay?

We can accept payment by either credit or debit card, either by telephone on 01332 642240 or online at Derby Direct to You. A small surcharge will be added if you choose to pay by credit card. Overseas payments can be accepted. Please ask staff at your bank on the best method to make overseas payments in pounds sterling.

If you would like to go ahead with this service please download, print, complete and return the Catalogue Search Request Form below with your payment to:

Derby Local Studies and Family History Library
Riverside Chambers
Full Street
Derby
DE1 3AF

If you do not have access to print facilities, you can write to us with your catalogue search request and payment.

Local and family history research service

Library staff can conduct research on your behalf for a fee. This service can help move your research forward.

What does the research service charge cover?

We employ a qualified researcher to carry out this service. The charge covers 60 minutes of the researcher’s time. We will search and interpret library resources to help answer one or more specific questions. We will provide a report indicating which sources have been searched, where the information was found and we will include up to five prints of the original source(s). Where we have found further sources with relevant information we will provide a quote for these copies.

Although every effort will be made to find the information for you, regretfully not every search is successful. As the charge is made to cover the staff time involved, we are not able to offer refunds.

What information do you need from me?

Please make your research questions as specific as you can. Accurate dates, locations and names are helpful and will improve our chances of success. Please include any additional information that you think may help, including sources you have already consulted and information you already have.

How much is the research service?

We charge individuals £25 for an 60 minutes of research time. We charge commercial companies £88.10 for an initial 60 minutes of research time

How can I pay?

We can accept payment by either credit or debit card, either by telephone on 01332 642240 or online at Derby Direct to You. A small surcharge will be added if you choose to pay by credit card. Overseas payments can be accepted. Please ask staff at your bank on the best method to make overseas payments in pounds sterling.

If you would like to go ahead with this service please download, print, complete and return the Research Service Order Form below with your payment to:

Derby Local Studies and Family History Library
Riverside Chambers
Full Street
Derby
DE1 3AF

If you do not have access to print facilities, you can write to us with your research questions and payment.