Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
277 Bancroft Road
London
Greater London
E1 4DQ
England

Website

www.ideastore.co.uk/en/articles/local_history

E-mail

localhistory@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Telephone

Local History Libary

020 7364 1290

Archives

020 7364 1289

Fax

020 7364 1292

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.
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive
Library icon

Tower Hamlets local history library and archives covers the area of the present-day London Borough of Tower Hamlets; the original East End of London which, until 1965, comprised of the Boroughs of Bethnal Green, Poplar and Stepney.

If you are interested in a building in the borough, tracing your ancestors who lived here, doing a school or college project on some aspect of the borough or are just feeling nostalgic, we may well be able to help you.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday Closed
Saturday (fortnightly) 9am - 5pm
Sunday Closed

Admission charges

Registration
All users are required to register with the service on their first visit. Please ensure you bring a form of ID providing proof of your permanent address.

Getting there

Nearest tube: Stepney Green

Bus Routes: 25, along Mile End Road

By car
There are a limited number of pay and display parking spaces in the surrounding roads as well as parking spaces for Tower Hamlets resident's permit holders.

Local history library:

Books and Pamphlets - The local history library holds over 20,000 printed books and pamphlets dating from the 17th century to the present day. These provide extensive coverage of the many differing aspects of the recorded history of Tower Hamlets. The Library includes an important "shipping collection" which, as well as covering local subjects, includes general material relating to the history of merchant shipping.

Cuttings - The cuttings collection, which is contained in over 400 boxes, includes newspaper and periodical cuttings and articles and printed ephemera, a substantial amount of which dates from the 19th century.

Illustrations - The library holds about 25,000 illustrations, mainly photographs. There are over 80 boxes of photographs of general street scenes arranged alphabetically, while the remainder are arranged by subject.

Maps - Well over 2,000 maps and plans are held dating from Elizabethan times to the present day. The collection includes large-scale Ordnance Survey maps, street plans and some parish and estate maps.

Microfilms - The library holds on microfilm, copies of census returns for the whole Borough, from 1841 to 1891; various local newspapers from 1853; parish registers of seven of the oldest parish churches and London trade directories.

Audio-Visual Collections - About 100 sound recordings and 60 films and videos of local interest are held.

Archives:
While there are substantial holdings of archives relating to the borough, much of Tower Hamlets material is deposited elsewhere (notably at the Greater London Record Office).

Local authority records - There are extensive holdings of records of the Borough and its predecessors dating in some cases from the 16th century. These include minutes, rate books and correspondence files.

Deeds - There are over 8,000 deeds recording the transfer of properties in the Borough, which are indexed by name and place.

Other archives - In addition the archives hold documents relating to many local institutions, including some places of worship and schools, local clubs and societies, and some businesses.

Collection details

Archives, Social History, World Cultures

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.
Book cover showing a young woman gazing through a window

Writing on War: A discussion of the novel ‘The Repercussions’

  • 2 September 2014 6:30-8pm *on now

Award-winning author Catherine Hall discusses her new novel The Repercussions which was inspired by a set of First World War photographs.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Where

Idea Store Canary Wharf
Churchill Place
London
E14 5RB

Website

https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

Author Talk: Katherine Connelly 'Sylvia Pankhurst:Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire'

  • 4 September 2014 6:30-8pm

Join us for this talk with author Katherine Connelly, who will be discussing her book 'Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire'.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Idea Store Bow
1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road
Bow
E3 5ES

Website

https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

photograph of ww1 entertainment

‘Pack Up Your Troubles’: In Memory of WW1

  • 4 September 2014 10:30am-12pm

Join Cubitt Town Over 50’s Group for a knees-up in memory of WW1.

Taking place at Cubitt Town Library, Strattondale Street, London, E14 3HG.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

photograph of poppies

Chrisp Street Remembers

  • 7 September 2014 11am-4pm

To mark the WW1 Centenary, Idea Store Chrisp Street will host film screenings, reminiscence sessions, local history displays, art workshops and much more, focusing on Poplar’s World War One heritage as part of Poplar HARCA’s Chrisp Street Festival taking place across Chrisp Street Market.

Check in-store for further details. The day includes a screening of ‘Whose Remembrance?’ Communities and the Experiences of the Peoples of Britain’s Former Empire During the Two World Wars’.

Taking place at Idea Store Chrisp Street, 1 Vesey Path, East India Dock Road, London, E14 6BT.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

From Cubitt Town to Aldgate East - One Woman's Journey through the First World War

  • 10 September 2014 6:30-8pm

Author Juliet West talks about her new book, Before the Fall, inspired by a tragic true story, which looks at the role of women in the East End during the First World War.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Where

Idea Store Watney Market
260 Commercial Road
London
E1 2FB

Website

https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

Reminiscence Session: LinkAge Plus Group

  • 12 September 2014 12-3pm

Older residents are invited to visit St Matthias Community Centre for an opportunity to view and discuss historical images of Poplar from the collections of Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, and the chance to share your memories. This session also forms part of the centre’s celebrations to mark the 360th anniversary of the East India Company.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Where

ST. Matthias Community Centre
113 Poplar High St
London
E14 OAE

Getting there

Bus:115,15,D6,D8,D7

DLR: Poplar DLR and All Saint DLR

Website

https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

photogrpah of world war one graves

A Guided Tour of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

  • 13 September 2014 1-2:30pm

Take in the tranquil surroundings of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on a guided walk led by its Friends group. Many of those killed by bombing raids are buried here.

Please note: this event takes place at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Southern Grove, London, E3 4PX

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

Film Screening & Q&A: ‘Everything is Possible,’ documenting the life of Sylvia Pankhurst

  • 14 September 2014 1:45-3:30pm

Filmed in the East End of London and beyond, the film traces the context, campaigns and political impact of suffragette and revolutionary Sylvia Pankhurst. The film features unique testimony from Sylvia’s son Richard Pankhurst and his wife Rita. The film will be followed by a Q & A with Ceri Dingle, one of the directors.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Where

Idea Store Bow
1 Gladstone Place
Roman Road
Bow
E3 5ES

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

photograph of prosthetic facial pieces

The Wounded Soldier and the East End of London

  • 18 September 2014 6:30-8pm

Author and researcher Gary Haines is currently researching the cultural and visual representation of the blinded British soldier of the First World War as part of his doctoral thesis. In this talk he will look at what it meant to be wounded in war and living in the East End.

Followed by question and answer session.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

Reminiscence Session: LinkAge Plus Group

  • 19 September 2014 12-3pm

Older residents are invited to visit St Matthias Community Centre for an opportunity to view and discuss historical images of Poplar from the collections of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, and the chance to share your memories. This session also forms part of the centre’s celebrations to mark the 360th anniversary of the East India Company.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Where

St Matthias Community Centre
113 Poplar High St
London
E14 OAE

Website

https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

Park

The People of Poplar: A Heritage Walk

  • 21 September 2014 12-2pm

A guided walk around Poplar led by local historian Gary Haines, finishing at the Upper North Street School First World War memorial.

Starting at St. Matthias Community Centre, 113 Poplar High St, London, E14 0AE.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

photograph of the british army football team

Writing on War: Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero

  • 27 September 2014 2-3:30pm

Dan Lyndon speaks about Walter Tull, a British footballer and soldier who was born in 1888 and died in 1918.

He was also the first black officer to lead white British soldiers in battle. He was brought up in a National Children’s Home orphanage in Bethnal Green.

Taking place at Bethnal Green Library, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 OHL.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

World War One in Tower Hamlets: Exhibition and Collections Guide launch

  • 11 November 2014 6-8pm

A launch event for the brand new “WW1 in Tower Hamlets” exhibition and guide to the World War One collections held at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. There will also be a demonstration on using the newly digitised Poplar Military Tribunal Register to help track your First World War – era ancestors and its other potential uses for research.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-world-war-one-cultural-events-programme

Getting there

Nearest tube: Stepney Green

Bus Routes: 25, along Mile End Road

By car
There are a limited number of pay and display parking spaces in the surrounding roads as well as parking spaces for Tower Hamlets resident's permit holders.

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