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Newspapers and periodicals

Tower Hamlets Local History and Archives holds a collection of around 1,800 newspaper and periodical titles. These cover a wide range of local topics dating from the eighteenth century to the present day, including:

  • Local newspapers
  • Street and trade directories
  • Magazines, including those published by schools and churches
  • Newsletters of local organisations
  • Annual reports
  • Local government publications

Most of our newspapers and periodicals are original paper hardcopies, with several older publications collected in bound volumes. We also hold many local newspapers on microfilm, and our subscription to the British Newspaper Archive provides access to hundreds of historic newspapers from all over the British Isles in our Reading Room.

Some of our more popular periodicals like our microfilmed newspapers and street and trade directories are available on our open shelves. Most however are in storage and you will need to order them via our online catalogue.

To search for periodicals in our library’s collection:

  1. Go to our online catalogue’s advanced search page
  2. In the Type field select ‘Serial’, and if you are looking for periodicals on a specific topic enter relevant search terms in the Any Text or Title fields (for example, “Mile End”, “school”)
  3. Click the Search button at the bottom of the page
  4. Browse the results and click on a record to read more about a publication

Our newspapers are among our most heavily used resources, are a rich source of information about everyday life in the East End from the nineteenth century to the present. Key research areas where our newspapers can be helpful include:

  • Family history, through announcements of births, marriages, and deaths, coroner’s reports, and obituaries
  • Local businesses, via advertisements and job postings
  • East End politics and events, covering elections, World War II air raids, crime, and social movements
  • Cultural life, including theatrical performances, musical concerts, and festivals
  • Sports, such as football and boxing matches
  • Bangladeshi community history, using our large collection of Bengali-language publications

Most of our newspapers are only available in hardcopy, both in bound volumes and as loose boxed issues for more recent years. Many are extremely rare and may be the only surviving copies which are publicly accessible. Some important titles available in this format include:

  • Asian herald (1983-1991). LCP00018.
  • Bajra kantha. 1981-1982. LCP00001.
  • The Bangali shomachar. 1980-1984. LCP00002.
  • Bangla express. 2002. LCP00042.
  • Bangla post. 2005-2010. LCP00036.
  • Bow bugle. 1987-1994. LCP00003.
  • Daily herald. 1919-1925. LCP00407.
  • The Docklands. 2006-2007. LCP00008.
  • Docklands express. 1987-1990. LCP00004.
  • Docklands news. 1983-2003. LCP00005.
  • Docklands recorder. 1987-2003. LCP00006.
  • Docklands today. 1993-1994. LCP00007.
  • East End life. 1993-2016. LCP00009.
  • East End link. 1979-1981. LCP00010.
  • East ender : the express. 1975-1979.
  • East London advertiser. 1945-Present, later titled The Docklands and East London advertiser. LC338.
  • East London news. 1988-1989. LCP00021.
  • Eastern eye. 1992-2008. LCP00037.
  • Eurobangla. 2002-2010. LCP00022.
  • Hackney and Bethnal Green link. 1986. LCP00024.
  • In step. 1992-1994. LCP00052.
  • The Islander : Isle of Dogs community newspaper. 1976-1994. LCP00026.
  • Isle of Dogs neighbourhood news. 1987-1909. LCP00025.
  • Janomot. 1992-2008. LCP00014.
  • 1985-1988. LCP00034.
  • The local : the paper for Spitalfields. 1976-1980. LCP00033.
  • London Bangla. 2007-2009. LCP00015.
  • Notun din. 1987-1996. LCP00039.
  • Our East End. 2016-Present. LCP00406.
  • Picket. 1986-1987. LCP00045.
  • Poplar press. 1987-1994. LCP00046.
  • 2001-Present. LCP00056,
  • Purbodesh. 1992. LCP00048.
  • The slice : Tower Hamlets. 2021-Present. LCP00434.
  • Spitalfields news. 1982-1988. LCP00050.
  • Stepney neigbourhood news. 1987-1990. LCP00051.
  • 1984-2019. LCP00019.
  • Tower Hamlets news. 1969-1993. LCP00053.
  • Tower Hamlets recorder. 2003-2005. LCP00054.
  • Wapping neighbourhood news. 1987-1994. LCP00068.
  • Weekly Bangladesh. 2005-2009. LCP00017.
  • Weekly deshbarta : eastern news. 1986-1994. LCP00067.
  • The worker's friend [Der arbayter fraynd]. 1905-1906. LCP00070.
  • The wharf. 1998-2008. LCP00069.
  • Wharf life. 2019-Present. LCP00411.

To bring up a list of newspapers available in hardcopy:

  1. Go to our online catalogue’s advanced search page
  2. Select ‘Microfilm’ in the Type field, and enter ‘Newspapers’ in the Subject Keyword field
  3. Click the Search button at the bottom of the page

Earlier issues of some of some newspapers are also held on microfilm, as are several other publications available solely in this format. Our microfilmed newspaper collection consists of the following titles:

  • Bethnal Green chronicle and East End weekly news. 1874. LC1673.
  • Bethnal Green citizen. 1947-1963. LP731.
  • The Bethnal Green news. 1894-1895. LC730.
  • Bethnal Green times. 1862-1869. LC13436.
  • Borough of Hackney standard. 1877-1907. LC13439.
  • The City and East London observer. 1934-1944. LC13434.
  • The East End news. 1859-1962. LC13437.
  • East London advertiser. 1866-2003, title varies slightly over time. LC565.
  • The East London observer. 1857-1933. LC13433.
  • The Eastern argus. 1889-1912. LC13438.
  • The Eastern post. 1868-1938. LC13440.
  • Eastern times and Tower Hamlets gazette. 1859-1964. LC13435.
  • Jewish chronicle. 1841-2007. LC226.
  • The Shoreditch citizen and Hackney & Bethnal Green advertiser. 1889-1890. LC728.
  • The Tower Hamlets mail. 1857-1858. LC729.
  • The woman’s dreadnought. 1914-1917. LC13441.
  • The workers’ dreadnought. 1917-1924. LC13442.

The largest collection of UK newspapers is held by the British Library. Many of their historic East End titles are available digitally via the British Newspaper Archive, which is free to use in our Reading Room:

Another important periodical resource we hold is our collection of street and trade directories. These are particularly useful for researching:

  • Family history, especially if your ancestor had a trade, shop, or business
  • Demographics of streets and neighbourhoods
  • Building and architectural history
  • Street name and numbering changes

Various London directories have been published since 1677, but these early volumes were mostly just alphabetical lists of gentlemen and are therefore of limited use to most researchers.

The first directory to include the names of ordinary tradespeople like grocers, tailors, and cabinet makers was the New annual directory in 1800, whose coverage extended as far east as Poplar. Later known as the Post Office London directory, these volumes are often referred to as ‘Kelly’s directories’ after their publisher. Our earliest edition of this key resource dates from 1805 and we hold copies up to 1991, with gaps. If you require an edition not held by us, a complete collection of the Post Office London directory is available at Guildhall Library.

Some important dates to remember when using directories:

  • 1805 – The first edition of the New Annual directory is published.
  • 1837 – Kelly’s takes over publishing the Post Office London Directory.
  • 1838 – The directories start listing churches for the first time.
  • 1842 – Alphabetical street indexes are first introduced this year, as are selective alphabetical lists of private residents and classified trades
  • 1848 – From around this date the directories are often produced in two or more volumes (street and commercial, trade and court, and suburban counties).
  • 1853 – The adverts section at the back is expanded, following the abolishment of a tax on advertisements.
  • 1857 – The street indexes include postal districts for the first time.
  • 1958 – Coverage extends to include the entire London postal area.
  • 1959 – Private residents are no longer included.
  • 1980 – Churches are no longer included.
  • 1988 – Shops and street intersections are omitted, but coverage extends to include everything within the M25.
  • 1991 – Kelly’s ceases publication.

You can search many more digitised historical UK directories on Ancestry, and on the University of Leicester’s Special Collections Online portal.

In addition to our newspapers and directories, we also collect magazines, newsletters, annual reports bulletins, and other serial publications published by local organisations or on local topics.

To find other periodicals on our online catalogue, excluding newspapers and directories:

  1. Go to our online catalogue’s advanced search page
  2. In the Type field select ‘Serial’
  3. Under the Subject Keyword field, click ‘Refine Search Criteria’
  4. In the space after ‘Without the words’ type “newspapers” and “directories”
  5. If you are looking for periodicals on a specific topic enter relevant search terms in the Any Text or Title fields (for example, “Spitalfields”, “housingl”)
  6. Click the Search button at the bottom of the page
  7. Browse the results and click on a record to read more about a publication

Below is a small selection of some of many specialist periodicals you can find in our collection, organised by theme.


Arts and culture

  • The A team : annual report. Inner London Education Authority. 1980-1982. LC11050.
  • Brady Arts and Community Centre. 1999-2007. LCP00129.
  • Circular to the members of the Anglo Oriental Film Club. 1975-1976. LP8756.
  • East end festival programmes. 1987-1994. LCP00158.
  • Island arts. 1990-1995. LCP00181.
  • ELAM. 1964-1976. LCP00090.
  • Rich Mix. 2006-2010. LCP00248.
  • Tower Hamlets arts and events. 1995-2002. LCP00288.
  • Whitechapel Art Gallery programmes. 1985-1994. L9505.

Bangladeshi community

  • Bangladesh newsletter. 1971-1972. LC13378.
  • Bengali info. 2000-2006. LCP00122.
  • Benth bulletin. 1983-1985. LC9739.
  • British Bangladeshi who's who. 2010-Present. LC8901.
  • Public informer : for Bengali young people. 1993-1995. LC9752.

Black, African, and African-Caribbean communities

  • Black history month. 2002-Present. LCP00290.
  • Black Women's Health and Family Support annual report ... 2001-2004. LC13807.
  • OSCA Ocean Somali Community Association annual report. 2005-2010. LC13367.
  • Somali eye magazine. 2006-2009. LCP00264.

Boards of works

  • Annual report of the Board of Works for the Poplar district : account in abstract of receipt & expenditure, for the year ending ... 1867-1900. LC8671.
  • Board of Works for the Limehouse District : statement of accounts, report, &c. 1857-1900. LC1406.
  • Board of Works for the Poplar District : account in abstract of receipt and expenditure. 1857-1900. LC1408.
  • Board of Works for the Whitechapel District : reports. 1858-1863. L2209.

Business and industry

  • The Brymay magazine. 1921-1977. LC1544.
  • The complete business world London Docklands. Business Efficency Centre. 1986-1991. LCF00508.
  • The copartnership herald of the Commercial Gas Company. 1931-1937. LC371.
  • East London Federation of Industry and Commerce year book, directory and business guide. 1963-1975. LC10269.
  • Truman news. 1982-1989. LP8653.

Christian places of worship

  • Church magazine. Christ and St. John with St. Luke's, Isle of Dogs. 1993-1994. LCP00137.
  • East London Church chronicle. 1893-1930. LC13764
  • The Friends of Christ Church Spitalfields newsletter. 1977-1985. LCP00175.
  • Kindle. The church of St. Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney. LCP00249.
  • Limehouse parish magazine. 1978-1995. LC853.
  • Mansford Street messenger. 1988-2004. LCP00222.
  • The record. Tower Hamlets Mission. 1982-1998. LCP00361.
  • Parish magazine. Christ Church with All Saints, Spitalfields. 1977-1990. LC884.
  • The parish of St George-in-the-East with St Paul newsletter. 1988-2004. LCP00250.
  • St Mary's newsletter. St Mary's Church, Bow. 1998-2005. LCP00255.
  • The St. Matthias', Poplar, parish magazine. 1900-1940. LC937.
  • Step ahoy : the parish newspaper of Stepney Parish Church. 1953-1966. LCF00699.
  • The Stepney Meeting magazine. 1885-1886. L8779.

Civil defence

  • Poplar Civil Defence Wardens' Organisation bulletin. 1945. LC13246.
  • Under cover : the monthly magazine of Stepney A.R.P. services. 1939-1940. LC1161.

Community centres, clubs, and settlements

  • New Bradian : magazine of the Brady Boys' and Girls' Club. 1958-1965. L7292.
  • The Oxford House magazine. 1927-1933. LC1481.
  • Hilda's East annual report. 1970-1991. LCP00251.
  • Margaret's House annual report. 1982-1998. LCP00254.
  • The St. Mary's Centre progress report. 1987-1996. LCP00256.
  • Toynbee Hall annual report. 1994-2007. LCP00372.

Docklands redevelopment

  • Canary Wharf news. 1988-2005. LCP00133.
  • Docklands action news : bulletin of Campaigning to restore democracy in Docklands. 1982-1984. LC10737.
  • The docklander. 1984-1990. LC10750.
  • London Docklands Development Corporation newsletter. 1982-1992. LC10693.

Docks and shipping

  • Lloyd's register of British and foreign shipping. 1731-1846. LCP00100.
  • The naval annual. 1886-1919. LCP00106.
  • The P.L.A. monthly. The Port of London Authority. LCP00108.
  • Polanews : staff journal of the Port of London Authority. 1970-1978.
  • Sea breezes. Pacific Steam Navigation Company. 1919-2005. LCP00109.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century society

  • The gentleman's magazine. 1731-1846. LCP00100.
  • The Lady's magazine, or, Entertaining companion for the fair sex : appropriated solely to their use and amusement. 1770-1832. LCP00089.

Employment and trade unions

  • In touch. Tower Hamlets Unison. 1995-2007. LCP00369.
  • Stepney Skilled Employment Committee : report. Stepney Skilled Employment Committee. 1923-1943. L5529.
  • Tower power. Tower Hamlets Unison. 1996-Present. LCP00370.
  • Wapping post. 1986-1987. LCP00031.

Environment, city farms and nature

  • The East End Wildlife Group newsletter. 1980-1984. LCF00486.
  • Education team news. Tower Hamlets Environment Trust. 1991-1998. LCP00169.
  • Isle of Dogs agricultural show. 1982-1994. LCP00187.
  • Spitalfields Farm annual report. 1987-1993. LCP00268.
  • Stepping out. The Stepping Stones Farm. 1983-2005. LCP00281.
  • Stone stories. The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. 1996-Present. LCP00176.

Genealogy, archives, and local history

  • Archives : the journal of the British Records Association. 1949-2018. LCP00096.
  • The amateur historian. 1953-2003. LCP00071.
  • Cockney ancestor. East of London Family History Society. 1978-Present. LCP00082.
  • East London record. The East London History Society. 1978-1998. LCP00080.
  • Genealogists magazine : journal of the Society of Genealogists. 2001-Present. LCP00073.
  • Island history news. 1994-2014. LCP00186.
  • The journal of the Whitechapel Society. 2008-Present. LCP00194.
  • Local history news. 1991-2005. LCP00072.
  • London and Middlesex Archaeological Society newsletter. 1962-1992. LCP00205.
  • Mitteilungsblatt. Anglo-German Family History Society. 1987-Present. LCP00074.
  • Newsletter. East London History Society. 2003-Present. LCP00215.
  • The occasional newsletter. 1979-2008. LCP00163.
  • Shemot. he Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. 1993-Present. LCP00190.

Health and welfare

  • Age Concern Tower Hamlets annual report. 1993-2001. LCP00113.
  • Annual report and review. 1989-1993. LCP00162.
  • Buzz. 1995-1996. LCP00130.
  • Carers together. 1991-2007. LCP00134.
  • East London Hospital For Children and Dispensary for Women report. 1873-1932. LC1529.
  • League of friends of Mildmay Mission Hospital. 1985-1990. LCP00198.
  • The London Chest Hospital newsletter. 2005-2008. LCP00210.
  • The link. Barts and The London NHS Trust. LCP00120.
  • MIND in Tower Hamlets newsletter. 1988-1992. LCP00230.
  • Poplar Hospital annual report. 1864-1947. LC1531.
  • Tower Hamlets HIV-Aids link up. 1989-1992. LC9869.

Housing and residents associations

  • Driffield Residents Association. 1974-2004. LCP00156.
  • MEOTRA newsletter. Mile End Old Town Residents' Association. 1983-2003. LCP00227.
  • Parkview and Cranbrook newsletter. 1988-1997. LCP00353.
  • Spitalfields Housing Association Ltd annual report. 1996-2003. LCP00267.
  • Tower Hamlets annual report to tenants. 1993-2003, LCP00287.
  • Update. Tower Hamlets Community Housing. 2003-2011. LCP00337.


  • The Huguenot Society newsletter. 1986-Present. LCP00180.
  • Huguenot Society of London proceedings. 1932-2002. L2748.

Jews and Judaism

  • The cable. Jewish East End Celebration Society. 2006-2010. LCP00189.
  • Hakol hakol. The Settlement Synagogue. 1982-1996. LCP00262.
  • Jewish historical studies : transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England. 1982-2012. LC350.
  • Jewish year book. 1896-2009. LCP00099.
  • JHSE newsletter. The Jewish Historical Society of England. 2004-2010. LCP00191.
  • Loshn un lebn. 1939-1981. LCP00101.
  • The Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter annual report. 1886-1973. LC9250.


  • Bow bookworm. 1995-1997. LCP00314.
  • THL. 1998-2004. LCP00344.
  • Tower Hamlets Libraries' newsletter. 1987-1990. LCP00315.

Local government

  • Matthew, Bethnal Green : annual report and abstract of accounts. 1857-1900. LC1397.


  • The globe : the magazine for the people of Globe Town. 1987-1994. LCP00023.
  • The green : a journal for the Bethnal Green neighbourhood. 1987-1993. LCP00027.
  • Isle of Dogs neighbourhood news. 1987-1990. LCP00025.
  • Stepney neigbourhood news. 1987-1990. LCP00051.
  • Wapping neighbourhood news. 1987-1994. LCP00068.

Police and crime

  • CAPA news. 1982-1985. LCP00142.
  • Divisional report. 1987-1992. LCP00224.
  • Metropolitan Police History Society magazine. 1997-2004. LCP00225.

Politics and campaigning

  • The Bow and Bromley worker. Bow and Poplar Labour Party. 1909-1912. LCF00706.
  • Bulletin. Hackney and Tower Hamlets Defence Committee. 1978. LP5595.
  • Contact : the newsletter of Stepney and Poplar Conservative Community Action Group. 1982-1984. LC864.
  • East Stepney herald. St. Dunstan's Ward Labour Party. 1983-1990. LCP00165.
  • Focus. Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats. c. 1999-2000. LCP00360.
  • THAR news bulletin. Tower Hamlets Against Racism. 1993-1994. LC249.
  • Tower Hamlets Labour news. Tower Hamlets Labour Party. LCP00357.

Schools and education

  • Dempsey Street School school mag. 1926-1931. LC13934.
  • Edit : for those in education in Tower Hamlets. 1989-2001.
  • The George Green Association. 1993-2005. LCP00165.
  • The magazine of the George Green's School. 1920-1941. LC1573.
  • Morpeth School weekly news. 2007-2011. LCP00228.
  • The Parmiterian : the magazine of Parmiter's School, Cambridge Heath, E.2. 1938-1980. LC1457.
  • The Queen Mary College Students Union handbook. 1977-2004. LCP00245.
  • The Rainean : the magazine of Raine's Foundation Grammar School. 1975-1994. LC1563.
  • School talk. St Paul's Way School. LCP00258.

Sport and leisure

  • Directory of sport in Tower Hamlets. 1989-1994. LC11705.
  • Sports scene in Tower Hamlets. 1984-1987. LC11706.


  • Crossrail. 1991-1994. LCP00147.
  • Docklands Light Railway news. 1985-1989. LC9515.
  • Good going. 2003-2006. LCP00303.
  • Journal. North London Railway Historical Society. c. 1994-Present. LCP00412.
  • The London railway record. 2008-2016. LCP00216.
  • Tower Hamlets cyclist. 1982-1992. LCP00368.


  • Womens news : what's happening for women in Tower Hamlets. 1985. LC13297.
  • Women's news : the magazine for women in Tower Hamlets.1985. LC13297.
  • The young lady's magazine. 1838. LC13304.