About Mike Petty

Mike Petty - Cambridgeshire Researcher, Lecturer & Historian

In 1964 Mike Petty discovered tucked away in a back room of Cambridge Library a collection of books, newspapers, maps, illustrations and ephemera on Cambridgeshire. It had been carefully collected for 110 years – but nobody had had the chance to sort it.


Over the next 30 years Mike transformed it into the Cambridgeshire Collection, taking it into a separate suite in the new Central Library in Lion Yard. Over that time he became the most widely acknowledged authority on Cambridge and the fenland building up unique knowledge of resources which he continues to share through regular lectures to groups and societies.


His wide experience in assisting thousands of enquirers for over 50 years and unrivalled knowledge of published material – books, newspapers, illustrations, maps etc – combine to provide a unique service for those investigating any aspect of the area, past or present. More details are contained on his website – www.mikepetty.org.uk




Mike’s library on your laptop.


Mike has amassed his own library of books, illustrations and information which he has shared on your laptop via the Internet Archive website. Just search bit.ly/mikepetty13a or click on this link




Amongst scores of files are


Cambridgeshire Memories and Reflections: Mike’s weekly articles in Cambridge Newspapers covering a wealth of topics and where readers shared their own recollections. https://archive.org/details/CambridgeshireMemoriesAndReflectionsByMikePetty


The Cambridgeshire Scrapbook 1897-1990 comprises over 3,000 pages and 21,000 articles relating to all areas of the region. It is a compendium of facts, features and (occasional) fallacies reported in Cambridge newspapers recording a vast range of information not previously easily accessible.




It forms the basis for scores of other Scrapbooks covering villages, topics and areas of Cambridge. There is a Mill Road Scrapbook, an East Road Scrapbook, Castle Area Scrapbook and compilations on Cambridge Cycling, Cambridgeshire Aviation, Cambridgeshire Military Activity 1920-1940 and much more.


A Century of Cambridge News 1888-1988 summarises 100 years of developments in Cambridge itself with sections on Health, Cambridge University, Housing, Transport, Planning, Music, Cinema, Religion and 70 other topics. It puts the issues of today in their historical context, especially during the immediate post-war period, the ‘forgotten 50s’. https://archive.org/details/CenturyOfCambridgeNewsAugust2015


Fenland History on Facebook is a site where folk can seek and share information on all areas of Cambridgeshire, not just the interesting black flat bit. It succeeds the long-running and most successful Fenland History on Friday meetings which have now gone into hibernation. This was never a club or society but each week (October to May) for 13 years people came together to discover something of this fascinating area and pass on that information to a visiting speaker. Now it can be done online from wherever you are. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1026849820769556


Stretham & Grunty Fen on Facebook is a site where folk can seek and share information on the Stretham and Grunty Fen area of Cambridgeshire, discuss and read about this area online from wherever you are. https://www.facebook.com/groups/356395098470752/




For free advice and guidance email mikepetty13a@gmail.com.

And if you’re looking for a speaker, contact me. It’s something I’ve done for 50 years!

M.J. Petty MBE, MA, ALA, 13a Reads Street, Stretham, Ely, Cambs. CB6 3JT
phone 01353 648106 E-mail mikepetty13a@gmail.com
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