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Outreach and education

Explore our events which aim to engage people with the rich history of the East End through our collections. Details are advertised on our What's On page, social media channels and newsletter.

At Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives we hold a wide range of free exhibitions and events.

Our rich East End history collections are at the heart of our programme which aims to connect everyone. Sessions cater to groups including:

  • community groups
  • school pupils and teachers
  • resident East Enders old and new
  • family and local historians
  • visitors including overseas tourists.

Events draw on themes from the unique materials which we preserve and collect on behalf of the borough. We want to ensure that histories of the people and places of Tower Hamlets are at your fingertips.

We design events and activities to inspire you to explore the multitude of stories displayed in our collections. We also provide sessions to help you care for your own personal or organisation's photographs and records.

If you are a teacher, a student, community group or member of the public and if you have an idea to engage people in the history of Tower Hamlets, we would love to hear from you.

What we offer

  • A popular programme of free exhibitions and events exploring the rich history of Tower Hamlets. Explore our latest exhibitions and events.
  • Local history expertise rooted in our unique library and archive collections
  • Curriculum-linked workshops for schools in Tower Hamlets.
  • Bespoke workshops for organizations or groups wanting to explore collections relating to a specific topic or theme
  • East End History Club sessions
  • Exhibitions bringing you insightful perspectives into our collections. With exhibition tours tailored to the needs of your group. For example, students learning English, with a breakout space available after the tour for discussion and reflection
  • Film and audio collections and screening facilities
  • Digital learning resources exploring specific themes
  • Activities onsite take place in our Grade II listed building typically using our original collections
  • Outreach visits, talks and stalls at offsite community gatherings
  • Use of our large, accessible Education Room onsite with capacity for 60 seated theatre style for for hire
  • Film and audio collections and screening facilities
  • Digital learning resources exploring specific themes/collections available online
  • Experienced support on request to community groups developing their own heritage projects.

We welcome your radical new approaches to exploring the histories represented by our collections. We are aware of the East End’s historical location at the centre of British imperialism and global trade and we welcome collaborations to explore this.

Contact us to plan your group visits. Please give at least two months' notie if you would like to book us to deliver a workshop or tour.

If you would like to engage with Tower Hamlets history please contact us.

Not on the list?

We are keen to develop new approaches. If there is an activity you would like to explore which is not included we’d love to hear from you! If you would like to engage with Tower Hamlets history get in touch.

child painting


We welcome hundreds of children and young people to our site every year through planned school visits.


Heritage projects

Are you a group or local organisation seeking support for a heritage project? Do you have a great idea about teasing out an unexplored element of our borough’s rich history?


KS2 Learning resources

We have developed free downloadable learning resources for Key Stage 2 pupils.

group talk

Group Visits

Our local history library and archive collections contain a wealth of potential for engaging and inspiring learners of all ages and backgrounds.

walk booklets

Local History Walks

Discover the history of Tower Hamlets through led and self-guided walks

exhibition photos

Touring Exhibitions

We have a growing collection of standalone, popup exhibitions in various formats

old photographs

Online Exhibitions

Digital exhibitions we have produced based on our collections, including the Great Dock strike and the Bethnal Green Tube Disaster.


FREE access to Ancestry Library Edition

Researching your family tree? Discover genealogy, family trees and family history records online with Ancestry.

Only available from an Idea Store or Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.

Search the online catalogue

Search the online catalogue

This catalogue describes the collections held by Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives. The collections include an extraordinary range of original archival documents, books, pamphlets, periodicals, maps, photographs and films.