Local history books and collections in libraries
All our libraries have resources covering their local area and the county of East Sussex. They cover current and historical material including books, newspapers, leaflets and more.
Discover your local area and how to carry out research with our recommended reads. See further down this page for books about Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes and Bexhill. For more books, search our E-library online catalogue.
- Local history
- Family history
- Building history
- World War Two in East Sussex
- History of East Sussex County Council
Magazines are a useful source for local information and history – see our Periodicals list.
Special collections on Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes and Bexhill
Below is a summary of the special resources in our largest local studies collections – for full details, download our Guide to local studies resources in libraries.
Largest local studies collection in East Sussex with material covering the entire county as well as West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and Kent.
Topics covered in detail include Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill, Rye and Battle.
Recommended books about Hastings include:
- ′Historic Hastings′ by John Manwaring Baines, 1986 – 3rd edition
- ′Hastings past′ by Rex Marchant, 1997
- ′Hastings of bygone days and the present′ by Henry Cousins, 1911
- ′Hastings: a living history′ by David Thornton, 1987
- ′Hastings: a pictorial history′ by D Robert Elleray, 1979
- ′Hastings′ by Tony Wales, 1998
- ′Hastings in old photographs′ by Pamela Haines, 1989
- ′Hastings in old photographs: a second selection′ by Pamela Haines, 1991
Special collection covers the history of Eastbourne and the surrounding area, as well as the development of East Sussex in general.
Recommended books about Eastbourne include:
- ′The Book of Eastbourne′ edited by Rev W Budgen
- ′Old Eastbourne′ by Rev W Budgen, 1912
- ′Lords and Landlords: the aristocracy and the towns 1774-1967′ by D Cannadine, 1980
- ′East Bourne memories of the Victorian period, 1845 to 1901′ by GF Chambers, 1910
- ′Reminiscences of Eastbourne′ by R Cooper,1903
- ′Eastbourne: a pictorial history′ by DR Elleray, 1995
- ′A brief history of Eastbourne′ by AGS Enser, 1976
- ′Eastbourne recollections: magisterial and personal′ by RJ Graham, 1888
- ′Wartime Eastbourne: the story of the most raided town in
the South-East′ by G Humphrey, 1989
- ′A municipal history of Eastbourne, 1938-1974′ by JC Aspden, 1979
- ′A short history of Eastbourne′ by L Stevens, 1988
- ′Bygone Eastboume′ by JC Wright, 1902
Books and pamphlets mainly about East Sussex and also some information about West Sussex.
Topics covered in detail include Bonfire, George Baxter, Thomas Paine, Daisy Ashford, Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury.
Recommended books about Lewes include:
- ′Lewes past′ by Helen Poole, 2000
- ′The Chronicles of the Cliffe and South Malling, AD 668-2003′ by Brigid Chapman, 2003
- ′Pre-Georgian Lewes c890-1714′ by Colin Brent, 2004
- ′Georgian Lewes, 1714-1830′ by Colin Brent, 1993
- ′Victorian Lewes′ by Colin Brent, 1980
- ′Lewes at war′ by R A Elliston, 1995 (revised 1999)
- ′Lewes in old picture postcards′ by Bob Cairns 1988
- ′Lewes in old photographs′ by Judy Middleton, 1990
- ′Lewes then and now′ by Bill Young, 2 volumes in 1998 and 2004
- ′Lost Lewes′ by Kim Clark, 2002
- ′The Battles ofLewes and Evesham 1264/65′ by David Carpenter, 1987
- ′Lewes remembers racing and race days′ by Lewes U3A Oral History Group, 1994
Large collection of material about the history of Bexhill-on-Sea and the surrounding district of Rother, as well as the development of East Sussex in general.
Topics covered in detail include De La Warr pavilion and family, land development, coastal erosion and villages of Little Common and Sidley.
Recommended books about Bexhill include:
- ′Story of Bexhill′ by Leonard Bartley, 1971
- ′Bexhill-on-Sea: a pictorial history′ by Aylwin Guilmant, 1982
- ′Short history of Bexhill′ by WH Mullens, 1927
- ′Bexhill-on-Sea in old photographs′ by Helen Green and Avia Pinney, 1989
- ′Bexhill-on-Sea: a history′ by Julian Porter, 2004
- ′Bexhill-on-Sea: images of England′ by Julian Porter, 1998
- ′Bexhill-on-Sea: the second selection′ by Julian Porter, 2002
- ′Bexhill-on-Sea: then and now′ by Aylwin Guilmant, 2002
- ′Old Bexhill′ by Charles Kaye, 2002