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What's On

We are working hard to keep our services running in these unprecedented times, while making sure we incorporate all government guidance to help protect our visitors and staff.

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives is currently closed until further notice, and we have postponed our programme of events.

We are still working behind the scenes, and you can email us directly at While staff will have limited access to the collections at this time, we will do whatever we can to answer your queries.

Bangladesh 50 Years

Identity and belonging in the East End before and after the Liberation War of 1971
2021 marks 50 years since the independence of Bangladesh. To mark the significance of this, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives (THLHLA) and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) are leading Bangladesh 50 Years, one of four projects that forms a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s offsite programme; Citizen UK, during its temporary closure to transform the gallery. 

Citizen UK is an exciting research and creative engagement project involving the borough archive services, local communities and contemporary artists. It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project will conclude with a Bangladesh 50 Festival taking place Feb-March 2021, marking Bangladesh Independence Day (26 March) and the related anniversary UN International Mother Language Day (21 February),  kicked off by the launch of a creative commission which will sit in the public realm in Tower Hamlets as well as a exhibition curated by Citizen Researchers, informed by historical materials from Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives and the National Portrait Gallery.
For more information


COVID-19 collecting volunteer project

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives wants to create a lasting collective memory of our community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. As an archive it is our responsibility to not only preserve historic records from the past, but collect and preserve the history of today to inform many generations to come. We would like to invite you to help us document the impact of the virus and the lockdown measures in place and organisations in the borough.

If you would like to volunteer your time with us, read our Life During Lockdown: COVID-19 collecting volunteer project summary and see how you can get involved.

If you are are an organisation or sole trader and would like to contribute your experience of the pandemic, or would like recordkeeping advice as a result of any changes caused by lockdown, please visit our new page on Recordkeeping Advice During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

If you are an individual who would like to contribute your personal experiences of the pandemic, please visit our new project website: Making History: documenting coronavirus in the East End

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.

Local History Library & Archive Newsletter