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Somerset Archives Education and Learning

What We Offer

We offer a range of services for schools, colleges and universities.  We can supply copies of documents to support your delivery of key National Curriculum areas or specific projects.


We can provide free advice to teachers and individual pupils or students about the range of sources we hold to help your projects.  


For primary schools, topics can include the Tudors, the Victorians, the Second World War, and local studies of your village or town.


For secondary schools we offer sessions and resources relevant to a range of subjects including linguistics (language change), history (eg. Cholera and public health, slavery, the Tudors, general documentary sources), archaeology (archaeological sources at the Somerset Heritage Centre), law and sociology (crime and punishment).


At further and higher education level we can tailor advice to meet your needs.  Recent topics that we have covered include sources for archaeology, the Poor Law and palaeography (how to read old handwriting).

Tailor-made Document Packs

We can create tailor-made packs to fit the topic or project that you are studying.


If you are looking at the changes in your local area, you can use maps such as the tithe map and Ordnance Survey maps.  census statistics 1801 - 1991 will show you how the population has changed over the past 200 years.  We may also have postcards or photographs of your area, showing what it looked like in the early 1900s.


If you are looking at your area in the Victorian period, as well as the records above you  might also like to look at entries from parish registers, school records, printed directories and census returns 1841 - 1911.

Training Sessions

We can support teachers by arranging sessions at the Somerset Heritage Centre, either during the day or after school hours, to discuss available sources and offer suggestions on their use in the classroom.  We can also visit schools to talk to staff as part of a training day or after hours.


Previous topics covered have included Sources for the History of Your School, The Tudor Age and The Somerset Seaside.

Visits to Schools

We can visit your school to talk to pupils preparing for projects for GCSE or A Level, bringing some sample documents with us and offering advice about the projects.  We are happy to advise individual pupils, either at the Somerset Heritage Centre, or by email, post or phone.


We can also visit schools that are doing a wide range of projects relating to Somerset.  These can include history, local study, geography, the environment and citizenship.  Sessions involve PowerPoint presentations and group or individual work.

Visits to the Somerset Heritage Centre

We can offer group sessions at the Somerset Heritage Centre to work on selected original records.  We have a dedicated Learning Room for groups, and smaller groups of older students can also work in the main searchroom.


Archives and Local Studies form part of the South West Heritage Trust Learning Offer. Schools that are subscribed  to the South West Heritage Trust Learning Offer can request resources for local study, such as maps, census and photographs, without additional charge.  Enhanced subscribers have access to further sessions and resources.  Please contact us on 01823 278805 or for further details.


Prices for additional services and pay-as-you-go options are listed on our Charges page.


Costs exclude external venue hire, which is the responsibility of the school or college for an in-school visit.

Contact us about Archive Learning

For more information, please contact Esther Hoyle, Senior Archivist (Learning)

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