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Local History - Visitor Information

Reading Room access to the archives and library

Visit the Reading Room to research our collections on the history of Tower Hamlets. You are welcome to drop in during our Reading Room opening times. We look forward to seeing you.

Planning your first visit to our Reading Room? Please complete our online registration form

Reading Room opening hours

  • Tuesday and Wednesday 10am – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 10am – 7pm
  • 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 10am – 5pm

Saturday opening dates February-May 2024:

17 February

2 March

16 March

6 April

20 April

4 May

18 May

Standard opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday10am – 4.30pm
Wednesday10am – 4.30pm
Thursday10am – 7pm
FridayCLOSED
Saturday10am – 5pm (1st and 3rd Saturday of the month)
SundayCLOSED

Onsite exhibition opening times

  • Check our Current Exhibition page and What's On page for events
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am – 5pm. On Monday and Friday lunchtimes, the exhibition will be closed for lunch between 1 - 2pm
  • Thursday 10am – 7pm
  • 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, 10am – 5pm

Keep updated on changes to our services, subscribe to our newsletter.

Accessing collections in our Reading Room

You can order items described on our online catalogue during your visit. No appointment or pre-order is necessary.

If you are travelling to us as a larger group contact us in advance. Staff will be happy to discuss your visit and reserve table space.

What we need from you

Plan your research visit:

  • Explore our research guides and collections catalogue to get a head start. These will help you identify items that you want to look at. If you’re not sure what to choose, email us the details of your query. We will help you identify which material will be most useful. Provide reference numbers for the items you would like to see when you get here.
  • Email us your query. Our inbox is monitored Monday-Friday.
  • Phone 020 7364 1290 - answered during our Reading Room opening times. The phone is not answered after 15 minutes before the Reading Room closes.
  • New user? Please complete our online registration form. Bring your proof of permanent address on your visit.

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives was awarded Accreditation in March 2018. Accreditation is the UK standard for archive services.

How to find us

277 Bancroft RoadGreater LondonLondonE1 4DQ

Travel

Local underground and National Rail stations are open and bus services are running.

5 minutes walk from Stepney Green tube station and 10 minutes walk from Mile End tube station.

Bus Routes: 25 and 205 along Mile End Road

There are limited pay and display parking spaces in surrounding roads as well as parking spaces for Tower Hamlets resident's permit holders.

Disabled access

Our building has a ramp and lift and is accessible to wheelchair users.