Many people interested in the history of their town or village want to undertake research into its past, and most need to use primary sources sooner or later. Nothing quite equates with the thrill of reading first-hand a letter, diary, set of accounts or other records written in the past. Some sources, such as parish registers and census returns, are well known, but others are undiscovered treasures. This new book introduces the reader to the enormous range of documents available. The authors convey their own enthusiasm for the material and explain the information it can reveal. Their unique background - working for The National Archives and for local record offices - gives them an unrivalled knowledge of archival sources, and both of them have used much of this material in their own research. The chapters deal with subjects such as the land, the people, poverty, health, crime and family life. An essential guide for the local or family historian needing to consult original documents.