Research at the Priaulx Library9th March 2015
Visitors have free access to the library and its resources. If you are unable to get to the library, we offer a fee-based research service.
Paid Research Service
Doing your own research
How do I research my family history?
How do I research the history of my house?
How do I research Guernsey history?
How do I use the Library to research a relative who was in the Forces?
Priaulx Library Research Service FAQs
Our highly experienced staff have access to a wide range of records and resources that are not available elsewhere.
Two types of research service are available.
PLEASE NOTE that the island church records of births, marriages and deaths cannot be accessed online or in published form. Digital reproduction of any part of these registers is not permitted.
La Bibliothèque Priaulx est une veritable mine d'or du savoir. 'A real gold mine of knowledge.' [E-sushi].
If you are able to visit the library in person, all resources are free to use and you can spend as long as you like on the premises during opening hours. Whatever your research project, it is a good idea to come as fully prepared as possible. The staff have compiled a short help guide to local research to help you on your way:
Starting out: Talk to your family, friends and neighbours, especially the oldest members with the longest memories. Collect together old family documents, e.g. letters, certificates, diaries, and photographs. Write down what you know—and bring it with you when you come to see us!
Search & Research: Now you are ready to start. Visit the Priaulx Library and explore our local and family history collections in more depth. Microfilm readers can be booked in advance and staff members are available to assist researchers. We may already have some completed research on your family.
The Priaulx Library has a comprehensive collection of books and maps that may help you to find out more about the house you live in:
- The Guernsey House, by John McCormack
- The Guernsey Farmhouse, published by The Guernsey Society
- Buildings in the Town and Parish of St. Peter Port, by C E B Brett 1841-1901
- census records
- 1787 Duke of Richmond map
- 1843 St. Peter Port map
- Livres de Perchage
- St Peter Port Cadastre records
- Photographs and drawings Street directories
- Selected House Pedigrees (Trans. Soc. Guern. 1990 pp. 755 ff.) Glossary of Terms (as above, p. 755)
If you can, bring your deeds with you. Other places to visit:
- Greffe, for land records, including Cadastre
The variety of the resources in the Priaulx Library surprises most visitors. However, since publishing in the field of local studies is often expensive and difficult, one cannot guarantee that there will be a book on the subject of your research.
Here are a few ideas for finding out more:
- Check for a book first—you never know! You can search our online catalogue here.
- Ask the staff, or ask library regulars if they know of any experts in the field of your research. Sometimes talking and speculating can help.
- Look for articles, files and press cuttings in the Priaulx Library in-house lists.
- Try other island institutions,such as the Island Archives, the Greffe, La Société Guernesiaise, or Guernsey Museum.
See the information on Army Lists.
- A ONE record 'Look up' service for £15 (ask for postage rate outside Europe*)
Only ONE record can be requested. The fee includes a copy of the record, postage, and administration fees. All e-mailed results are charged at the same £15 rate. *Results delivered electronically by e-mail outside Europe will also be charged at £15.
If a 'look-up' proves to be more complicated than first appears, clients may be requested to pay a higher research fee, but this is not likely to occur in most circumstances.
- A ONE record 'Look up' service for £35 per hour for newspaper searches (ask for postage rate outside Europe*)
To help with administration and to make sure that all clients are treated fairly, all applications must be made with our Research Request Form. (Please return the form to us by email or post.)
If you have any questions about how to fill in the form, or how many hours of research you should request, please ask one of our staff on [email protected].
Payment for research is made in advance. Therefore, all completed forms should be emailed or posted together with a cheque or credit card details. The cheque will not be cashed, nor will the credit card be debited until the research is complete. We try to complete all research requests within one month of application, but there may be some unavoidable delays beyond this timescale.
On the form, please specify the number of hours of research you are requesting. The staff will treat this as a maximum and will never go over the specified amount.
There is no guarantee that your research request can be answered, but our highly experienced staff will consult all sources at our disposal. If it becomes apparent that the question cannot be answered, staff will make all attempts to keep research time to a minimum. If full payment is not required in these cases, credit cards will only debited to the relevant amount. In the case of Cheques, these will be returned and a smaller amount requested.
If any help is required with any part of the research service, please contact the staff at [email protected]