Idea Store - What's On

What's On

Mapping the Hamlets
Exhibition and events: 15 April - 21 September 2017
For the first time, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives is exhibiting a large selection of its rare or unique historic maps of the borough. Beginning in 1610 with Norden's map of the County of Middlesex, the exhibition will illustrate how maps and plans have been used to record almost everything - streets and landmarks still recognisable today, as well as aspects of East End life that have now disappeared from the contemporary landscape, whether ancient administrative boundaries, specific migrant communities, tram routes or air-raid shelters. A programme of free events accompanies this exhibition.

Exhibition Launch: Protests of the 80s
Thursday 21 September, 6:00 - 7:30pm
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
From Tuesday 19 September until Friday 29 September we will be hosting a small exhibition on our first floor landing called ‘Protests of the 80s’, curated by the Isle of Dogs Living Archive Project. Using oral history interviews, the exhibition examines the impact of the closure of the Docks on the local community and explores the numerous protests which took place during the 1980s in response to redevelopment on the Isle of Dogs. Free, no booking required.

African and Caribbean Family History Day
Saturday 7 October, 10:30am - 4:00pm
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Get help researching your African and Caribbean ancestors and find out more about African and Caribbean heritage in London’s East End at this free family history event, run in partnership with the Tony Cheeseman Foundation ( A variety of talks will take place throughout the day and visitors will have the chance to browse a number of stalls and displays. A full programme will be announced shortly – check our website for further details. No booking required, just drop in.

Talk: Jewish Participation in the Fire Service during World War Two
Thursday 12 October, 6:30 - 7:30pm
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Join Martin Sugarman (Archivist, Association for Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women) and Stephanie Maltman (Firemen Remembered) for this fascinating account of the essential role played by Jewish people in the Fire Service during the Second World War. Hear previously untold stories of courage, including that of the only London fireman to be awarded the George Cross for bravery during the war. Free, no booking required.

Family Fun at the Archives
Monday 23rd October, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
This half-term, why not explore one of the East End’s best kept secrets with your children – Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives! A range of creative activities will be laid on for children, inspiring them with historic materials from the library. The collections include old photographs, maps and documents illustrating the landscapes and people of the East End in centuries past. This session is designed for 6-11 year olds, but younger and older children are welcome. To book your family’s place at this free event, please email or call 0207 364 1290.

East End History Club
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Are you interested in the history of London’s East End? If so, come along to one of our FREE drop-in sessions. You’ll have the chance to browse through old photographs, maps, newspapers and archival documents relating to a range of popular subjects, such as housing, health, immigration, work, school, leisure and much more! These sessions are ideal for those who are curious about local history and want to find out more. There’s no need to book, just drop in. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. Suitable for adults and children (11+).

Upcoming dates:

Saturday 21 October 2017, 2:00 - 4:00pm
Saturday 2 December 2017, 2:00 - 4:00pm
Saturday 3 February 2018, 2:00 - 4:00pm
Saturday 17 March 2018, 2:00 - 4:00pm



Online exhibition
We are pleased to report that a new online exhibition is now available. From Town Hall to Local History Library & Archives: a short history of our service and premises, 1861-2015 is based on research undertaken for last year's 50th anniversary celebrations of the borough.

If you've ever wondered about the history of our Grade 2 listed building here on Bancroft Road, these web pages will reveal all.


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