Photograph of eighteenth century records Photograph of eighteenth century records Show image info

Eighteenth-century Bath City Council account books as they were found. They have been stored in the Guildhall since their creation, and have now been re-packaged.

Our Collections

Our collections reflect all aspects of life in Bath from medieval times to the present day and provide a rich resource for researchers of all types.

At the core of our collections are the records of Bath City Council. We hold the original charters, minutes, leases, rate books and a huge range of other records of the corporation and the council from 1189 to the present day. The city records are not yet fully catalogued, but a project funded by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives in 2014-2015 has enabled us to develop an outline catalogue, with some sections listed in detail. You can see the catalogue here as a PDF.

The city records are complemented by the records of official bodies such as the law courts, the police, and the Board of Guardians. We hold records for Petty Sessions, which dealt with minor cases of law-breaking, and for Quarter Sessions, which dealt with more serious criminal cases. The Board of Guardians was responsible for the administration of poor relief - either in the workhouse or for people who stayed in their own homes.

We also hold many records which have been given to us by a wide range of societies and organisations, businesses, and individuals in Bath. We refer to these as 'deposited records'. The collections vary in size from a single item to many shelf-loads, and cover many different types of material.

You can find full catalogues of the records of Quarter Sessions, the Board of Guardians, Bath City Police and many of the deposited records on our online catalogue.

We hold copies of original newspapers for Bath and the surrounding area, some of which are available to view on microfilm.  We also offer free access to the British Newspaper Archive.

Many of our collections include maps and photographs - find out more about these maps and photographs.