Island History Trust

The Island History Trust is a community history project dedicated to recording and preserving the history of the Island and the people who live there. The Isle of Dogs lies in a loop in the River Thames in the East End of London between Limehouse and Blackwall, opposite Greenwich on the South Bank. It is the site of the old West India and Millwall Docks and of the new Canary Wharf office development. It is not a real island, but takes its name from a tiny island in the river which disappeared long ago.

The Island History Trust is based in one of the oldest community centres on the Isle of Dogs - the Dockland Settlement.

Venue Type:

Association or society

Opening hours

The Photograph Collection is open to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and on the first Sunday of each month, from 1:30pm to 4:30pm and at other times by arrangement.

Groups of six or more can be accommodated by appointment. The collections are on the first floor and if stairs are a problem, ground floor access will be made available.

Admission charges


People on the Isle of Dogs started collecting photographs and reminiscence in 1981. This was at the time when the docks and most of the local factories had just closed. There was unemployment and an atmosphere of uncertainty. Feelings of loss of local identity and of traditional ways of working and living, were countered by the activity of recording and preserving local history.

Tape-recorded interviews were made with elderly Islanders. Other people wrote down their memories, some producing complete autobiographies and diaries. Photographs were brought out of family albums and biscuit tins, copied and returned to their owners. New prints were made and stored with every print, information was gathered - names, dates, stories. This information was indexed for easy reference. Today there are almost 5,000 pictures in the Photograph Collection.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Social History, Trade and Commerce

Island History Trust
Dockland Settlement
197 East Ferry Road
Greater London
E14 3BA




020 7987 6041

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.