VCH Cumbria Volunteers' Handbook

This handbook is a practical guide for volunteers contributing to the Victoria County History (Cumbria) Project.  It contains guidance on all aspects of researching and writing the history of a parish or township for the VCH.  Its aim is to supplement the advice provided by the VCH national website in the online guide to ‘Writing a Parish History’, complementing the national guidance by drawing attention to sources and themes of particular relevance to the history of local communities in Cumbria.

The handbook was revised in April 2016.

VCH Cumbria Volunteers' Handbook (second edition, summer 2016) Full Text (pdf)        

Below on the left are links to each section of the handbook as separate pdf documents. Next to each themed section is also a link to the corresponding guidance provided on the VCH national website. This should be read in conjunction with the advice that we provide:

Getting Started

Researching Your Article


Population and Settlement *New Section*                                       


Economic History                        

Social History

Religious History                             

Local Government                            

Preparing Your Article

Sources Checklist


VCH Central Office

The VCH nationally has produced a draft framework document, detailing the content of a VCH article. We will combine the guidance in this document with the Cumbria-specific advice in our next edition of the Volunteers' Handbook in 2016.

Central Office has also compiled a number of helpful checklists and resources, including a list of online sources. All the help sheets are available as PDFs to download.