London Archives and Libraries

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Archives[edit | edit source]

Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre[edit | edit source]

Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
Holborn Library
32-38 Theobalds Road
London WC1X 8PA UK
Telephone: 020 7974 6342
Website: Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre

Whether you are tracing the history of a building, undertaking a GCSE project, discovering the history of your family or just interested in the local history of the area where you live, the Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre is the place to start. The Centre contains over 200,000 items on the history of the borough and we aim to keep anything that helps reflect life in Camden past and present.

City of Westminster Archives Centre[edit | edit source]

City of Westminster Archives Centre
10 St Ann's Street
London SW1P 2DE UK
Telephone: 020 76415180
Website: City of Westminster Archives Centre

At our Archives, view books, directories, maps, newspapers, images, local government records, electoral and parish registers, census returns and more relating to family, local and business history.

London Metropolitan Archives[edit | edit source]

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
City of London EC1R 0HB UK
Telephone: 020 7332 3820

We are home to an amazing range of documents, images, maps, films and books about London. London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is free to use and open to everyone. Whether you're tracing your family history or researching the history of your neighbourhood, if you're interested in London or Londoners, LMA is the place to visit!

Parliamentary Archives[edit | edit source]

Parliamentary Archives
Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 0PW UK
Telephone: 020 7219 3074
Website: Parliamentary Archives

The Parliamentary Archives provides access to the archives of the House of Lords, the House of Commons and to other records relating to Parliament. We also provide a records management service for both Houses of Parliament.

The National Archives (TNA)[edit | edit source]

The National Archives (TNA)
Bessant Dr
Surrey TW9 4DU UK
Telephone: 020 8876 3444
Website: The National Archives (TNA)
Catalogue: Discovery, The National Archives online catalogue

The National Archives (acronym TNA) is the official government archive of the United Kingdom, containing more than nine hundred years of history with records ranging from parchment and paper scrolls through to digital files and archived websites.
The National Archives is home to records created by the United Kingdom central government and agencies, and the legal system of England and Wales. These archived documents span records of many kinds from Domesday Book of 1086 to the present-day UK Government Web Archive. Records relating to the United Kingdom as a whole may contain information on Scotland and Ireland - all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom until 1922. These include military and naval records, coastguards, customs and excise, passenger lists and more.

Archives for London[edit | edit source]

Archives for London is passionate about archives in or about London. It is the independent voice for archives in the UK's capital city and brings together everyone interested in London's documentary history - users, practitioners and enthusiasts. Through free seminars, exclusive behind-the-scenes archive tours, an annual conference, and other events everyone can find out more about the documents, photographs, and films that tell the many stories of London and Londoners. Visit Archives for London for more details.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

The British Library[edit | edit source]

The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB UK
Telephone: 0843 208 1144
Website: The British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. It holds well over 150 million items from many countries. As a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK.
The British Library is a major research library, with items in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play-scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings. The Library's collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC. In addition to receiving a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland (approximately 8,000 per day), the Library has a programme for content acquisitions. The Library adds some three million items every year occupying 9.6 kilometres (6.0 mi) of new shelf space.[1]

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry[edit | edit source]

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
Freemasons’ Hall
60 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AZ UK
Telephone: 020 7395 9257
Website: The Library and Museum of Freemasonry

Freemasons’ Hall has been the centre of English freemasonry for 230 years. It is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, the oldest Grand Lodge in the world, and also the meeting place for over 1000 Masonic lodges.

Guildhall Library[edit | edit source]

Guildhall Library
London EC2V 7HH UK
Telephone: 20 7332 1868/1870
Website: Guildhall Library

Guildhall Library is a public reference library specialising in the history of London. Our printed books collection comprises over 200,000 titles dating from the 15th to the 21st centuries and includes books, pamphlets, periodicals, trade directories and poll books. This collection covers all aspects of life in London, past and present, its trade, people and buildings.

Lambeth Palace Library[edit | edit source]

Lambeth Palace Library
Lambeth Palace Rd
London SE1 7JU UK
Telephone: 20 7898 1400
Website: Lambeth Palace Library

Lambeth Palace Library contains an unrivalled collection of precious books and manuscripts, documenting nearly 1000 years of ecclesiastical and cultural life of the Church and Great Britain.

Swiss Cottage Central Library[edit | edit source]

Swiss Cottage Central Library
88 Avenue Road
London NW3 3HA UK
Telephone: 20 7974 4001
Website: Swiss Cottage Central Library

This library is the largest in the borough and has varied facilities including a café and art gallery as well as extensive seating and study areas. The stock is the largest in the borough.

Wellcome Library[edit | edit source]

Wellcome Library
Part of Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE UK
Telephone: 020 7611 8722
Website: Wellcome Library

The Wellcome Library of the history of medicine holds not only high-level material on medical history but also a huge amount of information on named individuals. They have a guide to Biographical and Family History Resources in the library. They also offer a growing collection of material relating to contemporary medicine and biomedical science in society.

Westminster Victoria Library[edit | edit source]

Westminster Victoria Library
160 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9UD UK
Telephone: 020 7641 6200
Website: Westminster Victoria Library

This is a large library containing a wide range of stock and the famous Westminster Music Library.

Museums[edit | edit source]

British Museum[edit | edit source]

British Museum
Great Russell St
Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG UK
Telephone: 20 7323 8299
Website: British Museum

The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.[2]

The Foundling Museum[edit | edit source]

The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square
Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AZ UK
Telephone: 20 7841 3600
Website: The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum is a history and art museum, which through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events, celebrates the ways in which artists of all disciplines have helped improve children’s lives for over 275 years. The Museum is also home to the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, an internationally-important collection of material relating to Handel and his contemporaries. If you’re looking for unique things to do around King's Cross, or places to take children, this hidden London gem offers a wealth of activities.

Geffrye Museum[edit | edit source]

Geffrye Museum
136 Kingsland Rd
London E2 8EA UK
Telephone: 20 7739 9893
Website: Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye explores the home and the way people live. Our collections show how homes have been used and furnished over the past 400 years, reflecting changes in society and behaviour as well as style, fashion and taste. A series of period rooms lead visitors on a walk through time from 17th century oak furniture and panelling, past muted Georgian elegance and eclectic Victorian style, to 20th century modernity and contemporary living.

Museum of London[edit | edit source]

Museum of London
150 London Wall
London EC2Y 5HN UK
Telephone: 020 7001 9844
Website: Museum of London

The Museum of London documents the history of London from prehistoric to modern times. The museum is located on London Wall, close to the Barbican Centre as part of the striking Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 1970s as an innovative approach to re-development within a bomb-damaged area of the City of London.[3]

Museum of London Docklands[edit | edit source]

Museum of London Docklands
No.1 Warehouse
West India Quay
London E14 4AL UK
Telephone: 020 7001 9844
Website: Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands is a museum on the Isle of Dogs, East London that tells the history of London's River Thames and the growth of Docklands.[4]

National Army Museum[edit | edit source]

National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Rd
Chelsea, London SW3 4HT UK
Telephone: 20 7730 0717
Website: National Army Museum

The National Army Museum is a leading authority on the British Army and its impact on society past and present. We examine the army's role as protector, aggressor and peacekeeper from the British Civil Wars to the modern day. Through our collections we preserve and share stories of ordinary people with extraordinary responsibilities. We explore the role of the army and its relevance today.

Royal Museums Greenwich[edit | edit source]

Royal Museums Greenwich
Romney Rd
Greenwich, London SE10 9NF UK
Telephone: 20 8858 4422
Website: Royal Museums Greenwich

A top-10 UK visitor attraction, Royal Museums Greenwich is home to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the iconic historic sailing ship Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House art gallery. All our attractions are located within easy walking distance of each other within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Victoria and Albert Museum[edit | edit source]

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 2RL UK
Telephone: 20 7942 2000
Website: Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK's national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.

For a long list of London museums, go to List of museums in London in Wikipedia.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "British Library," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 20 June 2017.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "British Museum," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 20 June 2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Museum of London," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 20 June 2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Museum of London Docklands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 20 June 2017.