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Online Sources

Digital images or exact transcription of a few of our collections are available online.

The digitisation and publication of the content of collections online is complicated and requires a lot of resources. There are questions of ownership, copyright, condition, demand, usefulness and cost of digitisation and publication that have to be considered.

Our approach to making our collections available online has been driven by preservation of the archives we hold and opening up underused collections.

The 1920s Rating Valuation Maps

These fragile index maps, our reference DV2, are very useful for building history. To save wear and tear on the original maps they have been made available online. You can access them and learn more about this important collection here.

Online content at and

Some of our original documents have been licensed to and digitised by the two leading family history websites.  You can have free access to these records at the Archives Service or possibly via your local library service if they have a corporate subscription to either Ancestry or Find My Past.

The collections that we have licensed so far are those we knew to have useful information for family historians but that were difficult to search and access.

Gaol Registers 

Our online database is a transcript of the surviving registers for Bedford Gaol and House of Correction.  The database currently covers 1770-1904 and new records are added each month. Only 172 of the 45,000 entries in the registers included photographs.  Please note that some versions of Internet Explorer will not work with the database and searches will return no results. If this happens please use an alternative browser.