Bristol Central Library and Local Studies Service

A close-up photo of an illuminated manuscript

Welcome to Bristol Libraries, your gateway to some of the good things in life. Libraries are free to join, free to use, and give you access to a world of books, film, music, information, and more.

Bristol Central Library’s Local Studies Service has Designated Collections of national importance status.
The large local history collection in the Reference Library includes a small collection of books on open shelves near the service desk. The local catalogues and indexes will help you decide which other local history records you would like to see. Other local sources include newspapers, maps, illustrations, photographs and an oral history archive.
Please note, manuscript material carries restricted access: advance notice and proof of identity is required to view.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

Mon Tues Thurs 9.30-7.30; Wed 10-5; Fri Sat 9.30-5 Sun 1-5.

Part of the Designated Collections of national importance relating to the history and development of the city of Bristol are on display here.

The other part of these collections can be seen at Bristol Central Record Office. Please contact Bristol Record Office for more information if you wish to see a specific item.

This comprehensive collection is essential to the study of the city of Bristol and its place in national history.

Collection details


Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection

Bristol Central Library and Local Studies Service
Bristol Central Library
College Green
City of Bristol



Central Library

Local Studies


Central Library

0117 903 7227

Local Studies

0117 903 7202


Central Library

0117 922 1081

Local Studies

0117 903 7436

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.