London Metropolitan Archives

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
Greater London


Activities for children and all ages - including Schoolmate, Look at London, Theatrelands and behind the scenes at the Archvies

School resources

On-line catalogue



020 7332 3820


020 7833 9136

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Image showing "A Thoroughbred November and London particular", 1827
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LMA holds archives about the administrative, social and family history of London. Over 105km of shelving store records of schools, churches, hospitals, businesses, local government and much more.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

Mon, 09.30 - 16.45
Tues, Weds & Thurs, 09.30 - 19.30
Friday, Closed
Saturday 9.30-16.45 on the following days in 2014 - January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, December 13.
2015 - January 10, February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, December 12.

Closed: All bank holidays.
From 3pm, 24 Dec 2014 - until 9.30am 5 Jan 2015 (Christmas closure)

Admission charges

Free to visit and use. Free enquiry service about what records are held. Charges made for copying of archive material, and for the Family History Research Service.

Additional info

Travel information:
Tube: Circle / Metropolitan / Hammersmith & City Line to Farringdon, Northern Line to Angel
Rail: King's Cross / St Pancras (20 minute walk), Farringdon (10 minute walk)
Bus: 19, 38, 341 to Rosebery Avenue. 63 to Farringdon Road. 55, 243 to Clerkenwell Green

The History of London collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The collection is held at the Guildhall Library and the London Metropolitan Archives, and traces the history of the City of London and Greater London. The History of London collection is a unique, extensive and incredibly rich collection of material on the history of Britain’s capital city. The collections reveal the impact of London on social, cultural, economic and political developments in the rest of the country. The collection also reflects the central role of London in the globalisation of the economy and culture since the 18th century.

LMA holds the official records from the former counties of London and Middlesex. These include the Middlesex Sessions of the Peace, dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, and County Councils of London and Middlesex from 1889 to 1965. These organisations affected every part of public life, from health to housing to highways.

LMA has official records covering the much larger area of Greater London from 1965 to 1986. Information on the Greater London area can also be found with the London Borough local archive services.

There is also an extraordinary range of other archives held at LMA. We have records of: Associations (from 1555), Businesses (from 1560), Charities (from 1377), Court records (from 1549), Diocesan records (from 1467), Families and individuals (from 1160), Health authorities and hospitals (from 1220), Jewish organisations (from 1591),
Local authorities (from 1538), National records (from 1653).

Also included are 'London Generations' (from 1538) - this is the section of LMA devoted to bringing family history sources together for you to use. London Generations includes the records of over 800 Anglican parishes, many non-conformist churches and chapels, poor law records, school registers and electoral registers. You can search London Generations as a database on LMA's website.

For visual sources, we have extensive holdings of printed maps of London from the sixteenth century, thematic maps including bomb damage, plans and drawings in the Building Act case file series and other collections, and over 250,000 prints, watercolours, etchings and photographs showing the changing face of London over the last 300 years.

The above is only a brief sample of LMA's vast collections: for detailed information contact our enquiry team or speak to a member of staff in the public rooms.

Collection details

Trade and Commerce, Social History, Science and Technology, Religion, Photography, Personalities, Performing Arts, Music, Medicine, Literature, Law and Order, Land Transport, Inland Waterways, Industry, Archives, Architecture

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
London Gothic

London Gothic exhibition

  • 17 November 2014 — 30 April 2015 *on now

From terrible crimes to gruesome legends, London has long been the backdrop to horrifying tales which quickly take root in popular imagination. Through court records which date back to the 17th century, explore dreadful crimes and brutal punishments, from witch trials and alleged hauntings to the spectacle of public execution at Tyburn (the west end of Oxford Street today). Uncovering the ‘gothic’ in many guises including architecture, London’s first ‘Goth’ club and the gothic imagination, this exhibition digs into the depths of London’s archives to present documents and images which record both fact and fiction, including manuscripts put on public display for the first time.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free. During normal LMA opening hours. Tel: 020 7332 3851


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Magna Carta, 1297.

Medieval London: Magna Carta and Beyond

  • 7 April 2015 2-4:30pm

This afternoon explores Medieval London society, culture and politics in England 800 years ago, at the time the Magna Carta was created and on into the medieval period. There will be focus on the important role the Magna Carta has played in the development of human rights, democracy and liberty.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£5. Booking required in advance. Tel: 020 7332 3851, or book online.


Spitalfields Market, 1920.

Spitalfields prints and photographs

  • 14 April 2015 2-3:30pm

To compliment the 'In search of Spitalfields' walk taking place in the morning, there will be an open display of Spitalfields related documents, prints and photographs available to see.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free. Booking required in advance. Tel: 020 7332 3851 or book online.


Spitalfields Market, 1932.

In Search of Spitalfields

  • 14 April 2015 11am-1pm

Exploring Spitalfields hidden medieval ruins, eponymous market and 'awesome' Hawksmoor church, and also the less famous reminders of its rich social history shaped by the various immigrant groups who settled here from 17th century Hugueonots to 20th century Bangladeshis.
Led by Mike Moran of CityHighlights. Meet outside Aldgate East Tube, exit on corner of Commercial Street and Whitehchapel High Street. (Exit 1 marked to Toynbee Hall from inside the station).

Suitable for

  • Any age


Meet outside Aldgate East Tube station
Commercial Street/Whitechapel High Street
E1 7PT


£8. Booking required in advance. Tel: 020 7332 3851 or book online.


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Britain and the Wider World

A citizenship based session which explores our relationships with other countries and cultures and the history of those connections. It will also link to issues around business, economy and decision making.

How to obtain

Available on request. Contact LMA for more details.

Expressions of Identity – creative writing events

Exploring personal and community identity through the stories of people from the past and the present.

How to obtain

Available on request. Contact LMA for more details.


SchooLMAte is for children and teachers. Here they can work together as they explore the world of London's communities. You will be able to learn about people's lives, where they lived and how some of them came to London hundreds of years ago.


The Theatreland website provides an overview of a century of theatre and tells the story of some of the playhouses with the most illustrious histories. Find out about the theatres that began as circuses and varied their dramatic fare with trapeze acts; the playhouse that survived two centuries and four fires to become a major draw for audiences today, and the group of theatres destroyed to make way for a major London thoroughfare. In the Image Gallery, you can look at prints and newspaper cuttings as well as the Theatreland plans and blueprints themselves, discovering the changes in theatre buildings and performances over the last few centuries.