Mike Petty MBE is a writer, broadcaster, local historian and formerly Local Studies Librarian at the Cambridge Central Library. In his role as Librarian he made an enormous contribution to the development of local and regional studies, and he was instrumental both in creating the 'Cambridgeshire Collection' and in guiding it to the position of one of the leading local studies collections in the UK. He constantly served as an invaluable source of information for students working on regional topics.
Mike contributed greatly to the development of the independent study modules in History, and to virtually all the serious writing on the history of Cambridgeshire that was produced during his time at the Central Library. He has been a leading figure in the development of local history within local schools, and his work as a broadcaster and writer has done much to awaken the public interest in Cambridgeshire and Finland. In 1997 he was awarded an Honorary MA from Cambridge University and the MBE for services to librarianship and local studies in Cambridgeshire.
Mike continues to share his expertise through talks to groups of all ages and abilities and has a daily 'Looking Back' and a weekly 'Memories' column in the Cambridge News. His website includes guidance for researchers and novices alike: www.cambridgeshirehistory.com/MikePetty.
In 1994 Michael Petty was made an Honorary Fellow of our University.
"In recognition of his enormous help and support to the staff and students of Anglia. As Local Studies Librarian, Cambridge Central Library, he has contributed greatly to the development of local and regional studies within the county of Cambridgeshire and East Anglia generally. He was instrumental in creating the present 'Cambridge Collection' and in guiding it to its present position as one of the leading local reference collections in the UK.
He has since the 1960s been an unfailing source of information for CCAT and Anglia students working on local/regional topics, both for course work and dissertations. His assistance has gone far beyond simply making material available, he has guided students to sources they might otherwise have missed and indicated fruitful areas of possible enquiry.
He has contributed greatly to the development of independent study modules in History and virtually all the serious writing on the history of Cambridgeshire produced over the past 25 years. He has been a leading figure in the development of local history in the county's schools, both before and after the introduction of the National Curriculum. His work as a broadcaster and writer has done much to awaken the public interest in local and regional history."