Archives are records produced by individuals, families or organisations during their everyday activities or business.

  • created as working documents, often without any intention of them being used for publication or research.
  • they may be in various formats, including loose papers, parchment documents, bound volumes, maps and photographs.
  • they may have been created centuries ago or date from any time up to the present day.

Access to records

Solihull Heritage and Local Studies is on the first floor of The Core Library. Please contact us in advance of your visit as we cannot guarantee that you will be able to speak to a specialist member of staff or view any items from our collections if you haven’t made an appointment. Please see our Solihull Life page on bookings for further details.

We hold many records relating to Solihull Council and its predecessor authorities. For example:

  • council minutes 1872 to the present day
  • Packwood Parish Council minutes 1872-1932
  • building plans c.1880-c.1933
  • electoral registers from 1832 to the present day

The  Heritage and Local Studies Service also holds some local company and organisation archives such as:

  • the BSA Co. Ltd (Birmingham Small Arms Company)
  • photographic archive of Cliff Joiner (Solihull press photographer)
  • Solihull Bowling Club
  • records of the Midlands Sporting Club (gentlemen's dining and boxing club)

It also holds archives relating to individuals such as

  • Doris Hamilton Smith (artist and pupil of Edith Holden)
  • Roland Henry Collins (maths teacher, and former Headmaster of Harold Malley School)
  • James Fern Webster (metallurgist and engineer)

Until 1974 Solihull was part of Warwickshire, and therefore a number of records relating to Solihull are held at Warwickshire County Record Office such as:

  • Quarter Sessions
  • Hearth Tax returns
  • Coroners' inquests pre-1974 (although most records pre-1900 haven't survived)

Solihull records are also sometimes linked administratively with those of Birmingham, so there are some archives relating to the borough at Birmingham City Archives, particularly

  • Birmingham & Solihull Coroner files (post-1974)
  • some nonconformist church registers
  • electoral registers pre-1974 for parts of the current Solihull borough

Some Solihull records, such as court records of the Assizes, are held at The National Archives.

The Archives Hub also includes archive catalogues from over 200 institutions.

Archives for family history

Solihull Heritage and Local Studies Service has lots of useful records that can help with family history research, such as:

  • Indexes to births, marriages and deaths
  • Census returns
  • Church registers

Loans, donations and deposits

Solihull Heritage and Local Studies Service is always pleased to accept items relating to places now within the Borough of Solihull that are likely to be of interest to current and future generations.

We are particularly keen to acquire photographs of the local area and can copy pictures as well as 35mm slides and negatives if you are happy to loan them to us. For our records, we ask that everyone supplying images for our collections completes a copy of our photograph information sheet so that we know to what use the photograph may be put.

If you are carrying out personal or academic research relating to the local area then we should be delighted to add a copy of your report or dissertation to our local studies collection.

On occasion, we can also accept items on deposit. See our terms and conditions of deposit.

If you have memories of going to school, living or working in Solihull, or if you remember your first impressions of the area when you moved here, then please complete one of our memory sheets and make your own contribution to our history. It doesn't matter what period your memories relate to - even recent events are part of our community's history.