Idea Store - Local History & Archives
Local History & Archives
Temporary closure of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives Reading Room
Due to an issue with the decorative plasterwork ceiling of our reading room it is not safe for anyone to access to this room at present. We are working to get this situation resolved as soon as possible but unfortunately, as a safety precaution, our first floor reading room must be closed until the room is declared safe to access.
Update: 20 January 2016
A full survey of the ceiling by a plasterwork specialist is being undertaken along with proposals for a temporary solution to make the room safe so that we can reopen to the public as soon as possible. We currently expect to be closed for a minimum of three weeks while contractors carry out this work.
Our exhibition and events take place on the ground floor and these are going ahead as normal.
We apologise for the inconvenience caused during this emergency closure period. Staff are responding to enquiries made by email and phone but please do bear in mind that many of the resources we would need to consult to respond to them are inaccessible.
Please sign up to our e-newsletter or follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on our reopening.
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
277 Bancroft Road, London E1 4DQ
Phone: 020 7364 1290
All users are required to register with the service on their first visit. Please fill in the form below and bring it along with a form of ID providing proof of your permanent address.
|Tuesday||10am - 5pm|
|Wednesday||9am - 5pm|
|Thursday||9am - 8pm|
|Saturday*||9am - 5pm|
*First and Third Saturday of the month only
A ramp and lift have recently been installed and the building is now fully accessible to wheelchair users.
We have a Ground Floor Education Room. For further information visit the Local History Library Room Hire web page.
Local History Library
- Over 20,000 books and pamphlets dating from the 17th century to the present day
- Electoral registers for Tower Hamlets from 1901
- Trade directories from 1800
- Cuttings Collection which includes newspaper articles and printed ephemera
- 25,000 photographs and illustrations
- Over 2,000 maps and plans dating from 16th century to the present day
- Over 500 periodical titles, including local newspapers from 1841 on microfilm
- Local census returns from 1841 to 1891 and parish registers on microfilm
- Search the catalogue
The archive collections include the records of Tower Hamlets Council and its predecessor governance bodies (dating from the 16th century) - for example minutes, rate books and correspondence files. Other notable collections include more than 8000 title deeds recording the transfer of properties in the borough, and documents relating to many local institutions and prominent individuals.
Search the catalogue
- Photocopying is allowed for much of the collection depending on copyright and physical condition
- Digital scans, subject to copyright, can be obtained; sizes and prices available on request
- An extensive range of informative publications are available for sale
We cannot, however, undertake detailed genealogical research on behalf of enquirers. Details of professional record agents can be obtained by contacting the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives.