SURREY HISTORY CENTRE

This page provides a brief overview of the online access to the Surrey History Centre’s holdings at Woking.

Surrey History Centre Main Page

Quick link to Collections Catalogue

Overview

The Surrey History Centre (SHC) is the core component of Surrey Heritage, one of the Directorates of Surrey County Council, of which an overview is given on ELHG’s Surrey Heritage page.

In its introductory leaflet SHC summarizes its role as collecting and rescuing “archives and printed materials relating to Surrey’s past and present, so that they can tell the story of the county and its people to future generations.”

introductory leaflet about the Surrey History Centre

Navigating to the Catalogue

The SHC home page is shown here –>

This is just the upper part of the page, showing (at the bottom of the screenshot) four links, including Surrey records online.

This link provides a route to the SHC’s Collections Catalogue. Clicking it takes one to an intermediate page having several sections:

Records online on Ancestry.co.uk
Records online on Findmypast.co.uk
Indexes on this website
Online catalogue
Original records

The Online catalogue section consists of a single link, to the Collections Catalogue.

The Collections Catalogue link invokes this page –>

Note: in the SHC’s haphazard and confusing lexicon, the terms ‘Online catalogue’, ‘Collections Catalogue’ and ‘the catalogue’ all evidently refer to a single entity.

The Searching the catalogue link, seen at bottom left in this screenshot, invokes the search interface, shown next.

Searching the Catalogue

Here is the interface through which one searches the Catalogue –>

The Advanced option does not add much, offering some weak Boolean choices as to search term interpretation, the ability to search using known SHC references and the scope to narrow date ranges.

This interface can be reached directly using this ‘Quick link’:

Search results appear as shown here –>.

In the main, the so-called Full Descriptions offered are very sparse, often stating no more than what is already visible in the headings of the listed results.

The associated SHC references are shown in these listings. For example, the second result seen opposite for the search term

Yew Tree House Effingham

displays the SHC reference

5118/5/2/1/916

The first result gives simply the reference

1232

which seems suspiciously incomplete.

If one intends to visit the SHC in Woking in order to inspect these source materials, then these are the references one has to enter in the ordering process, whether undertaken in situ at the SHC itself or – in advance of the visit – at one’s own computer.

Note: there are huge collections at the SHC having hard-copy catalogues not assimilated within this online Catalogue. Visiting is the best option for serious research.

Archives and history research guides

Returning to the Collections Catalogue page shown in the second screen shot above, scrolling down that page reveals a link to Collection highlights.

This invokes a very useful page bearing (confusingly, again) the wholly different title Archives and History research guides which contains a long list of links to informative SHC guides on a wide range of topics.

For example, the link for Manorial Records produces the guide seen (in part) here –>

The list of guides can be reached directly using this ‘Quick link’: