ARCHIVISTS in County Durham are offering the "perfect Christmas gift" for amateur historians.

Gift vouchers are now available for Durham County Record Office’s next beginners’ family history course, which takes place in the New Year.

The popular sessions are led by an archivist and offer an introduction to the sources available at the record office.

Dawn Layland, education and outreach archivist, said: “Individual and thoughtful, it could prove to be the start of a very interesting and fulfilling hobby for someone.”

The course lasts for three weeks from 10am to noon on Fridays, from January 19 to February 2, and from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, from January 18 to February 1.

The course costs £30 for all three sessions. Book in advance by contacting 03000 267 626.

Further information about the record office is available at