Shire Books 

There is a real problem in producing small, low cost specialist guides to historical and similar topics. This relates to the ratio between per title per shop marketing costs and the sales price of the book. In the UK Shire Books is the only significant publisher, and works by making a very wide range of titles available at any one time. Every decent bookshop in the UK has a revolving stand which can contain between 100 and 200 different titles, which means that the bulk sales make up for the low value of each individual book. It also sells books from their web site on the internet.

I love these books, which are produced to high standards, and there may well be one, or more, which relates to the activities of your ancestors. By way of an example I give a few titles from their Spring 2003 catalogue:

Needlework and Accessories

Industrial History

Rural History and Bygones

In addition to the very lengthy current list there are many more which are currently out of print, and which sometimes can be picked up on eBay.