Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

The Reading Central Library’s illustration collection is one source of photographs that the Berkshire Family Historian uses to illustrate its articles.

In case you hadn’t realised that such a thing existed, or that it is easily viewable online, and that you can have your very own copies too, here is a little bit more about it.

The collection has been going for quite some time, and includes thousands of images of places, people, and events from across Berkshire County. It has its own separate entry on the library catalogue (see Local Illustrations under the My Library heading here – https://reading.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/HOME). From here you can type in any search term you like and it will bring up any matching images. You can be as specific or as general as you like, as there are options to refine your search as you go. Pictures date back as far as William Fox Talbot and come up as far as this century.

Battle Library, previously known as West Branch Library, Reading 1910
Battle Library, previously known as West Branch Library, Reading 1910

Sometimes you will only get a written description of the image, this is most likely because, although we have the image itself, we don’t hold the copyright to it and so can’t display or reproduce it, unless permission is given.

However, if there is a thumbnail image shown (click on it for a larger version), then we can provide a copy for you. This is done in one of two ways, we can print it for £5 on A4 photographic paper, or for £3 we can send a jpeg copy for you to do so yourself. All we need is the BRN number which can be found by clicking on the text relating to the image you are interested in.

If you would like an image for a publication, website or other purpose then there is an increased fee, but do enquire as we may be able to come to another arrangement.

Alternatively, just browsing through the many images is a very nostalgic way to spend some time!

Berkshire Family History Society

Berkshire Family History Society

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print
Newsletter

If you aren’t receiving newsletters, you may find that the email ended up in your SPAM folder – in which case, please could you add the following email addresses to your contacts address book:                              

and

Alternatively:

  1. You may be one of those for whom we don’t have an email address and permission to use it
  2. We have an out-of-date email address

Please go here to reenter your email address and state your preferences

Tell us what you think

Berkshire Family History Society works to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas – as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire.  You do not need to be a member to benefit.

The society offers:

  • Research Zone in central Reading that is free to use and open to all

  • Free access at The Centre for Heritage and Family History to online resources like FindMyPast, the 1939 Register, The Genealogist, the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry (the worldwide edition)

  • Regular free help and advice sessions

  • Meetings in Abingdon, BracknellNewbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — open to everyone

  • Online discussion list for members  informed answers to research queries and advice from experienced researchers

  • Members’ Area with data and other information not readily accessible elsewhere

  • Indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire’s historic records on CD — parish registers, probate documents, monumental inscriptions, maps, First World War history and more

  • Quarterly magazine, the Berkshire Family Historian, for members

  • a chance to join in project work, recording, transcribing and helping to preserve records

  • Links to the research experience, advice and support of members worldwide

  • Opportunities to volunteer and so help others with their family history