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.

Closed: All bank holidays.
From 3pm, 24 Dec 2013 - until 9.30am 2 Jan 2014 (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.
Grenadier Guards, Queen Victoria Street, London.

Emergency! London 1914

  • 19 May — 30 October 2014 *on now

In response to the outbreak of World War One, the London County Council established the emergency measures committee to report on the state of the city and its people. Keeping tabs on food supplies and employment, reports were compiled by council officers and filed at County Hall. Taking these fascinating reports and building a picture of the city with photographs, maps and documents from the period, this exhibition will explore London as it was one hundred years ago, looking at changes to the city and the lives of Londoners as the country went to war.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free - during normal LMA opening hours.


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.
Information area at London Metropolitan Archives

Use London Metropolitan Archives: Getting Started

  • 19 November 2014 11am-12pm
  • 3 December 2014 11am-12pm

Come along and tour the Information Area to find out how to get the best out of the research facilities.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free - booking required in advance. Tel: 020 7332 3851 Email: Book online:



LGBTQ History Club

  • 3 December 2014 6-7:30pm

A regular monthly meeting to explore and share lesbian, gay, trans, bi and queer histories. All welcome. Contact LMA to join the club’s list and receive programme details. Find out more about LGBTQ History at LMA at

Suitable for

  • 18+


Free - drop-in event. Tel: 020 7332 3851 Email:


Archive Study Area at London Metropolitan Archives

Handling documents at London Metropolitan Archives

  • 3 December 2014 1-2pm
  • 7 January 2015 1-2pm

This practical session aims to help you to handle archival items in the most appropriate way. As well as demonstrating how to handle various archival formats, a Conservator will also explain the dos and don’ts that apply in the Archive Study Area.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free drop in event. Tel: 020 7332 3851


Focus on Family History at London Metropolitan Archives

  • 26 November 2014 2-3pm
  • 10 December 2014 2-3pm

Come along to this workshop and learn how to get the most out of digitised family history sources, including our records on

This workshop is aimed at beginners.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free - booking required in advance. Tel: 020 7332 3851 Email: Online booking:


Conservation light box

Behind the Scenes Tour, at London Metropolitan Archives

  • 20 November 2014 2-3pm
  • 18 December 2014 2-3pm

Tour the archives and meet with LMA professionals to find out about the essential work which preserves our records for future generations.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free - booking required in advance. Tel: 020 7332 3851 Email: 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.