Local Studies

The Local Studies collection contains over 20,000 books and periodicals.  We collect published information on every aspect of life in the Scottish Borders including material on the locality, or written by local people with a Scottish Borders connection. 

To consult items please make an appointment with the Local Studies Librarian before your visit.

Have a look at our tutorial Finding local studies resources


The Local Studies Librarian can search for information for you if you are unable to visit.  There may be a charge depending on the complexity of the search and time involved.

Collections in libraries
Our libraries also have collections of local studies books for loan.  Items include fiction titles by local authors and biographies on local people.  

You can request books from the main local studies collection through your local library. Some items are rare and/or fragile, including items belonging to the Special Collections and can only be consulted at our Library Headquarters in Selkirk.

Family History

Live Borders Libraries are an ideal place to start researching your Border Ancestors. Resources available include:

  • Free access to the genealogy database Ancestry Library Edition
  • 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census records
  • Monumental inscriptions from graveyards across the region
  • Local newspapers on microfilm including the Southern Reporter and the Kelso Mail dating back to the 19th century
  • Digital collection of Berwickshire Advertiser, Kelso Chronicle, Peeblesshire Advertiser and Southern Reporter newspapers from the Great War period, 1914-1918.

Libraries in Galashiels, Hawick, Duns and Jedburgh hold collections of local newspapers on microfilm.

For more in depth Family History Research please visit the Heritage Hub