About Us

The Victoria County History is one of the world’s longest-running research projects, exploring England’s rich local history.

Welcome to the Derbyshire Victoria County History Trust’s website. VCH is a vast, diverse and lively community of historians, researchers and local groups, working on county histories across England.

We support the work of the Victoria County History (VCH) in the county. On this site you will find news and articles and about our work and of VCH generally in Derbyshire.

Find out more about us on this page, or contact us to find out how you can get involved.

VCH will look at the history of all our communities, large or small. Here some of our members take a guided walk with Carsington reservoir top left.

How we got our name

The Victoria County History (VCH) was founded in 1899 as a national project to write the history of every county in England. Driven by local county trusts and their members, most of whom are volunteers, it’s led and managed in London at the Institute for Historical Research.

When started VCH was dedicated to Queen Victoria, which is how it gets its name. In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, the series was rededicated to Her late Majesty.

What do we do?

The VCH aims to complete authoritative, encyclopaedic histories of each county, from the earliest archaeological records to the present day, as well as topics such as topography, landscape and the built environment. Some VCH volumes were published over a century ago, while others are now in progress or planned for the future.

The Victoria County History is a series of publications: the iconic Red Books of county history, as well as the VCH Shorts, which focus on single parishes and towns. In Derbyshire we have also published what we call VCH spin-offs. Two of these have now appeared, the latest in June 2022.

In Derbyshire, two volumes red book were published in the early 20th century, Volume I (1905) and Volume II (1907) before VCH activity in the county had to finish. Work restarted in 2002. Between 2005 and 2010, VCH Derbyshire was part of the England’s Past for Everyone project. As a result, two paperback volumes were published; Bolsover: Castle, Town and Colliery and Hardwick: A Great House and its Estate. 

VCH volume III was published in 2013.

The third Red Book volume was published in 2013. Derbyshire Volume IIIBolsover and Adjoining Parishes describes the small market town of Bolsover in north-east Derbyshire and four parishes immediately to its north (Barlborough, Clowne, Elmton – including Creswell – and Whitwell).

Our latest publication – a ‘spin-off’ from our main work, on Hasland – was published in June 2022. Here our county editor – Philip Riden – talks to the audience at our launch event.

Part of volume II, detailing the medieval religious houses of Derbyshire, is available free on British History Online (opens in new window). For full access to all volumes, check the local library catalogue or your local archive. 

The Derbyshire VCH Trust raises funds to assist with the work of VCH in the county. We are also issuing VCH ‘spin-off’ books and other publications.

To find out how we research VCH in Derbyshire and to get involved see our page here.

Our latest blogs

As part of our educational remit we publish a series of blogs. Our last five blogs are listed here. You can access all our blogs and search for content by using the menu elsewhere on this page or click here for a compete list of all but our most recent blogs.

Page last updated 27 August 2023.