Here in the Past

Here in the Past is our latest and most ambitious local history project and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Here in the Past is born out of the knowledge we gained in delivering MyHouseMyStreet, which comprised a website and a series of street exhibitions.

Image of magnifier overlaid on a street map

The website contains Census Return data for the period 1851-1911, for 24 streets, mostly in the North Laine. It also displays 50,000 images of Street Directory pages for the period 1780-1970, indexed according to what they contain.

The data was combined to make street exhibitions, where each house displayed a poster listing who lived there in the past. 

Based on this, volunteers produced 12 Street Histories (more to follow) and it provided the backbone for 4 Storytelling episodes

All of this is on the website.

From this experience we evolved Here in the Past, bringing together data from at least four sources: Census Return, Electoral Register, Burial Record and Street Directory. 

Page of census return
We use information from census returns

These multiple sources cover different areas and periods in history. By combining them, we aim to provide some historical context for every home in the city up to around 1970, with multiple sources for the period 1820-1920.

Page from street directory
We use information from street directories

This is a massive undertaking involving thousands of hours of volunteered effort to transcribe, correct, collate and organize millions of pieces of historical information, so that they can be searched by person, by place and time.

Front page of Register of Voters
We use information from electoral registers

The results of this endeavour will be published on the web in 2018.

We expect this huge resource to be the catalyst for numerous activities by academics, students and volunteers, based here at The Regency Town House and elsewhere around our city and beyond.

Most of all, we hope it will fire the curiosity and enthusiasm of visitors and residents and encourage them to explore the history of our city and to find out who lived in their home in the past.

A group of volunteers standing on the steps of The Regency Town House
Some of our volunteer team.

If you want to help with Here in the Past research, making the web pages, or staging outreach events, do please get in touch, we have an enthusiastic and friendly group of volunteers who are always keen to meet others with an interest in the past. Our email address is: