Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives 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.

Operating as usual

Aren't you feeling hot in your suit Tom Snr? #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayWeather
09/08/2021

Aren't you feeling hot in your suit Tom Snr? #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayWeather

Aren't you feeling hot in your suit Tom Snr? #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayWeather

Ellen and Bill Blanchard dancing the night away at a holiday camp. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities
06/08/2021

Ellen and Bill Blanchard dancing the night away at a holiday camp. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities

Ellen and Bill Blanchard dancing the night away at a holiday camp. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities

The St Mildred's House Guides on holiday to Wi******er, where they tried to spot tiddlers in a stream. #ArchiveHoliday #...
04/08/2021

The St Mildred's House Guides on holiday to Wi******er, where they tried to spot tiddlers in a stream. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities

The St Mildred's House Guides on holiday to Wi******er, where they tried to spot tiddlers in a stream. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities

Off on an adventure holiday with the Docklands Settlement, where activities such as rock climbing were encouraged. #Arch...
02/08/2021

Off on an adventure holiday with the Docklands Settlement, where activities such as rock climbing were encouraged. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities

Off on an adventure holiday with the Docklands Settlement, where activities such as rock climbing were encouraged. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayActivities

Enjoying a picnic at the picturesque Isle of Man as part of the holiday for a group of boys from St. John's Church, Isle...
30/07/2021

Enjoying a picnic at the picturesque Isle of Man as part of the holiday for a group of boys from St. John's Church, Isle of Dogs.

What's your favourite picnic food? I'm partial to a ploughman's sandwich… #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFood

Enjoying a picnic at the picturesque Isle of Man as part of the holiday for a group of boys from St. John's Church, Isle of Dogs.

What's your favourite picnic food? I'm partial to a ploughman's sandwich… #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFood

We are delighted to share our newest deposit from Real: Disabled people working together for real choices ,  a user-led ...
29/07/2021

We are delighted to share our newest deposit from Real: Disabled people working together for real choices , a user-led disability charity in Tower Hamlets.

During the pandemic they have been running storytelling workshops with members to share their experiences of the pandemic. The project offered creative ways to express their feelings and emotions including poetry, art and animation.

One of the workshops was run by an experienced art therapist, who used the concept of 'cope cakes' to encourage members to think about all the positive things that had helped them get through the difficult times in isolation and lockdown.

It's important that disabled people's history is not forgotten & we are thrilled to be permanently preserving these records for future generations. More info the collection is on our catalogue (refno I/REA) https://185.121.204.36/CalmView/Advanced.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog

If you want to share your experiences of the pandemic with us then head over to: https://orlo.uk/coronavirus-collection_KOHDf

There's nothing quite like enjoying some fish and chips on holiday! I was going to tell you an epic new joke about fish ...
28/07/2021

There's nothing quite like enjoying some fish and chips on holiday!

I was going to tell you an epic new joke about fish and chip shops but now is not the time or plaice. 😉

Tell us how you enjoy your fish and chips and your best fish pun! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFood

There's nothing quite like enjoying some fish and chips on holiday!

I was going to tell you an epic new joke about fish and chip shops but now is not the time or plaice. 😉

Tell us how you enjoy your fish and chips and your best fish pun! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFood

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICECREAM! 🍦 Hope everyone's keeping cool with some ice-cream in this hot weather...
26/07/2021

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICECREAM! 🍦
Hope everyone's keeping cool with some ice-cream in this hot weather! ☀️ 🕶️ #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFood

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICECREAM! 🍦
Hope everyone's keeping cool with some ice-cream in this hot weather! ☀️ 🕶️ #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFood

It's smart casual for the annual work outing. Drop the suit jackets, keep the ties and remember your hats ladies. #Archi...
23/07/2021

It's smart casual for the annual work outing. Drop the suit jackets, keep the ties and remember your hats ladies. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFashion

It's smart casual for the annual work outing. Drop the suit jackets, keep the ties and remember your hats ladies. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFashion

Fancy fur collared coats and sun hats were all the rage for this trip to Blackpool! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFashion
21/07/2021

Fancy fur collared coats and sun hats were all the rage for this trip to Blackpool! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFashion

Fancy fur collared coats and sun hats were all the rage for this trip to Blackpool! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayFashion

"I know! My three-piece suit with hat/flat cap* is perfect for the staff outing!”*This was the uniform for the ‘inside s...
19/07/2021

"I know! My three-piece suit with hat/flat cap* is perfect for the staff outing!”
*This was the uniform for the ‘inside staff’ at Bow Depot. #ArchiveHoliday #ArchiveHoliday

"I know! My three-piece suit with hat/flat cap* is perfect for the staff outing!”
*This was the uniform for the ‘inside staff’ at Bow Depot. #ArchiveHoliday #ArchiveHoliday

Oh no! How will we get there now? Britain’s finest cars are fully booked! #ArchiveHoliday #ArchiveTransport
16/07/2021

Oh no! How will we get there now? Britain’s finest cars are fully booked! #ArchiveHoliday #ArchiveTransport

Oh no! How will we get there now? Britain’s finest cars are fully booked! #ArchiveHoliday #ArchiveTransport

Are you sitting comfortably? The Bethnal Green Old People's Welfare are off for a trip to the seaside! #ArchiveHoliday #...
14/07/2021

Are you sitting comfortably? The Bethnal Green Old People's Welfare are off for a trip to the seaside! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayTransport

Are you sitting comfortably? The Bethnal Green Old People's Welfare are off for a trip to the seaside! #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayTransport

These ladies are off on their outing from Poplar Methodist Church. Do you think they played games and sang songs on thei...
12/07/2021

These ladies are off on their outing from Poplar Methodist Church. Do you think they played games and sang songs on their coach trip? #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayTransport

These ladies are off on their outing from Poplar Methodist Church. Do you think they played games and sang songs on their coach trip? #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayTransport

Check out this tiny diary! It details a holiday in Belgium in 1910. Do you keep diaries of your holidays? Or do you docu...
09/07/2021

Check out this tiny diary! It details a holiday in Belgium in 1910. Do you keep diaries of your holidays? Or do you document them differently? #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayDestination

Journey books provide a snapshot into school holiday’s taken by students, including their travel, key sights, and rules....
07/07/2021

Journey books provide a snapshot into school holiday’s taken by students, including their travel, key sights, and rules. They chronicle trips to the Isle of Wight, North Wales, and Hastings. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayDestination

Men, women, & children would travel from London to Kent in September for the hop harvest. Whilst this was hard work, it ...
05/07/2021

Men, women, & children would travel from London to Kent in September for the hop harvest. Whilst this was hard work, it was considered a holiday to the country as it was a change from London. This was a collision of country & city life, that is fondly remembered. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayDestination

Men, women, & children would travel from London to Kent in September for the hop harvest. Whilst this was hard work, it was considered a holiday to the country as it was a change from London. This was a collision of country & city life, that is fondly remembered. #ArchiveHoliday #HolidayDestination

Today we celebrate #WindrushDay with this article from the ELA,1959 ft a photo of UK Commissioner for the West Indies + ...
22/06/2021

Today we celebrate #WindrushDay with this article from the ELA,1959 ft a photo of UK Commissioner for the West Indies + Editor of the Anglo-Caribbean News which was established in Bow. It was hoped the newspaper would be 'channeling more news between the Caribbean and England.' 📰

Today we celebrate #WindrushDay with this article from the ELA,1959 ft a photo of UK Commissioner for the West Indies + Editor of the Anglo-Caribbean News which was established in Bow. It was hoped the newspaper would be 'channeling more news between the Caribbean and England.' 📰

We love it when you help us build our collections. Here's some material we recently acquired relating to the Redgraves o...
16/06/2021

We love it when you help us build our collections. Here's some material we recently acquired relating to the Redgraves of Stepney and Poplar, including a great selection of family photos

If you've material you'd like to donate to us check out our guide
https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-deposits

We love it when you help us build our collections. Here's some material we recently acquired relating to the Redgraves of Stepney and Poplar, including a great selection of family photos

If you've material you'd like to donate to us check out our guide
https://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history-deposits

Hundreds of Bengali families squatted in 1970s Tower Hamlets; they had been denied adequate housing and were facing the ...
25/05/2021

Hundreds of Bengali families squatted in 1970s Tower Hamlets; they had been denied adequate housing and were facing the rise of National Front violence. Squatting was one way of overcoming the housing crisis and building a safer community.

Featuring Shabna Begum (QMUL Researcher) in conversation with Husnara Matin who was a squatter from the time, the session will establish the importance of this radical history in the homemaking of the Bengali community in the East End.

Image courtesy of Race Today 1974 & 1978, Darcus Howe Legacy Project

TICKETS/LINK IN BIO

Ever wondered what epic histories lie in your own family? Join Tam Hussain who will recount the story of his Great Uncle...
21/05/2021

Ever wondered what epic histories lie in your own family? Join Tam Hussain who will recount the story of his Great Uncle Ayub Ali Master, who established vital community hubs such as the ‘Number 13’ Boarding House on Sandy’s Row + the Shah Jalal Café

TICKETS/LINK IN BIO – Bangladesh 50 Programme

Slide 1
Image: Sailors outside a tobacconist’s shop, Limehouse, 1932. Printed in The Graphic, 1932. THLHLA P18725/400

Slide2
Image: Seafarers in a Limehouse Street, 1932. Printed in The Graphic, 1932. THLHLA P18724/400

#Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating this week!This photo from our COVID-19 archive shows a socially-distanced Eid praye...
13/05/2021

#Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating this week!

This photo from our COVID-19 archive shows a socially-distanced Eid prayer at Brick Lane Mosque last July. If you're celebrating Eid in Tower Hamlets this year, you can help us grow this collection at:
https://t.co/3tT9ENdbSU

#Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating this week!

This photo from our COVID-19 archive shows a socially-distanced Eid prayer at Brick Lane Mosque last July. If you're celebrating Eid in Tower Hamlets this year, you can help us grow this collection at:
https://t.co/3tT9ENdbSU

In the last 20 years there has been a rise in interest in British Bengali history and the establishment of Bengali commu...
06/05/2021

In the last 20 years there has been a rise in interest in British Bengali history and the establishment of Bengali community archives.

Join Julie Begum and Ansar Ahmed Ullah of the Swadhinata Trust alongside Howard Doble from @ldnmetarchives to explore London based collections to date, challenges in collecting these histories and reflections for the future.

TICKETS/
LINK IN BIO

Slide 1: Kobi Nazrul Centre opening ceremony flyer, Saturday October 23rd, 11.30-8.30, 30 Hanbury Street, E1. Pamphlet, Kobi Nazrul Centre, London 1982 (THLHLA / LC1464 / 360.1)

Slide 2:
Image 1 - Pamphlet, Bengali language movement / Julie Begum. Published by Nirmul Committee, London 1996. (THLHLA / LC9749 / 440 Box 2)
Image 2 - Bangladesh Newsletter 1972. Published in London 1972. (THLHLA / LC13378)

Slide 3:
Image 1 - Nari Sangram. Bilingual and bimonthly progressive women's magazine. Voice of Nari Samity women's movement - p. 1
Dual language English and Bengali. London 1985. (THLHLA / LC13307)
Image 2 – Bangladesh Youth Front, Annual General Report 1980-81. London 1981. (THLHLA / I/SPP/4/9/11/1)

40 years ago this week, the mighty Chewbacca teamed up with notorious Sith bad boy Darth Vader to delight and/or traumat...
04/05/2021

40 years ago this week, the mighty Chewbacca teamed up with notorious Sith bad boy Darth Vader to delight and/or traumatise the children of the East End (with a bit of help from Mardi Gras Fancy Dress Hire).

Happy #StarWarsDay and #MayThe4thBeWithYou!

Source: ELA, 8 May 1981.

40 years ago this week, the mighty Chewbacca teamed up with notorious Sith bad boy Darth Vader to delight and/or traumatise the children of the East End (with a bit of help from Mardi Gras Fancy Dress Hire).

Happy #StarWarsDay and #MayThe4thBeWithYou!

Source: ELA, 8 May 1981.

Where else can you delve into your family history, learning about the local area and everything in between? Our collecti...
30/04/2021

Where else can you delve into your family history, learning about the local area and everything in between? Our collections are filled with maps, photographs, personal papers, and interesting underwear… #WhyArchives #Archive30

Where else can you delve into your family history, learning about the local area and everything in between? Our collections are filled with maps, photographs, personal papers, and interesting underwear… #WhyArchives #Archive30

Whose image is it anyway? Join photographers Kois Miah and Phil Maxwell alongside Magda Keaney, Senior Curator of Photog...
29/04/2021

Whose image is it anyway?

Join photographers Kois Miah and Phil Maxwell alongside Magda Keaney, Senior Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery to discuss the ethics of ownership, focussing specifically on photographs of the Bengali East End from the 1970s to the present day. This event will be convened by Nishat Alam from @khidrcollective

🎟FOLLOW LINK IN BIO

Image Credits:

Image 1: Phil Maxwell, Fieldgate Mansions, 1982

Image 2: Kois Miah, Ta**us Miah, 2015

Image 3: Phil Maxwell, Anti Racist Demo TUC 1994

Image 4: Kois Miah, Mr & Mrs Hoque, 2015

Image 5: Phil Maxwell, Brick Lane 1984

Image 6: Phil Maxwell, Fieldgate Mansions, 1982

Millwall FC was originally founded in the Isle of Dogs. It was set up in 1885 as Millwall Rovers by the workers of J.T. ...
29/04/2021

Millwall FC was originally founded in the Isle of Dogs. It was set up in 1885 as Millwall Rovers by the workers of J.T. Morton in Millwall. The club has retained its name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. #ArchiveGoals #Archive30

Millwall FC was originally founded in the Isle of Dogs. It was set up in 1885 as Millwall Rovers by the workers of J.T. Morton in Millwall. The club has retained its name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. #ArchiveGoals #Archive30

Look at what was recently returned to us! This big map of Bethnal Green was loaned to a local council in 1986 and was re...
28/04/2021

Look at what was recently returned to us! This big map of Bethnal Green was loaned to a local council in 1986 and was recently transferred back to the archive. #SomethingBig #Archive30

Look at what was recently returned to us! This big map of Bethnal Green was loaned to a local council in 1986 and was recently transferred back to the archive. #SomethingBig #Archive30

We collect, preserve & promote the heritage of the East End and we welcome offers of records, images & books. By working...
27/04/2021

We collect, preserve & promote the heritage of the East End and we welcome offers of records, images & books. By working together, we can help document society for future generations - https://cutt.ly/9cZSGwM #ArchiveCollection #Archive30

We collect, preserve & promote the heritage of the East End and we welcome offers of records, images & books. By working together, we can help document society for future generations - https://cutt.ly/9cZSGwM #ArchiveCollection #Archive30

One dark and stormy night, on Friday 13th December 1985, the Half Moon Theatre staged its opening performance of Dracula...
26/04/2021

One dark and stormy night, on Friday 13th December 1985, the Half Moon Theatre staged its opening performance of Dracula.
We have the programme here, complete with fold-out bat wing and plenty of Dracula lore.
#SomethingScary #Archive30

One dark and stormy night, on Friday 13th December 1985, the Half Moon Theatre staged its opening performance of Dracula.
We have the programme here, complete with fold-out bat wing and plenty of Dracula lore.
#SomethingScary #Archive30

As part of our Land and Lives exhibition in 2015, which explored the Bromley by Bow area from the medieval period up to ...
25/04/2021

As part of our Land and Lives exhibition in 2015, which explored the Bromley by Bow area from the medieval period up to the 20th century, we had several deeds conserved. They were cleaned, washed, repaired, and then stored flat. #ConservationWin #Archive30

As part of our Land and Lives exhibition in 2015, which explored the Bromley by Bow area from the medieval period up to the 20th century, we had several deeds conserved. They were cleaned, washed, repaired, and then stored flat. #ConservationWin #Archive30

Check out these mini [boundary] stones from our museum collection! These were sited at Morrison Buildings South, Commerc...
24/04/2021

Check out these mini [boundary] stones from our museum collection! These were sited at Morrison Buildings South, Commercial Road, marking the boundary change to of St Mary’s Whitechapel, dated 1884. #MiniMilestones #Archive30

Check out these mini [boundary] stones from our museum collection! These were sited at Morrison Buildings South, Commercial Road, marking the boundary change to of St Mary’s Whitechapel, dated 1884. #MiniMilestones #Archive30

In defiance of Section 28 Tower Hamlets Central Library (us in a former life), produced the Gay and Le***an Booklist. Th...
23/04/2021

In defiance of Section 28 Tower Hamlets Central Library (us in a former life), produced the Gay and Le***an Booklist. The booklist further stated that ‘if your favourite title isn’t here please let us know, we will be glad to obtain it for you’. #ArchiveInclusion #Archive30

In defiance of Section 28 Tower Hamlets Central Library (us in a former life), produced the Gay and Le***an Booklist. The booklist further stated that ‘if your favourite title isn’t here please let us know, we will be glad to obtain it for you’. #ArchiveInclusion #Archive30

As part of the Tower Hamlets Carnival parade the Carnival Queen attended on a float. The procession moved through the bo...
22/04/2021

As part of the Tower Hamlets Carnival parade the Carnival Queen attended on a float. The procession moved through the borough, going through Victoria Pass, passing the fire station & St John on Bethnal Green Church, via Cambridge Heath Road. 👸👑 #ArchiveFashion #Archive30

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277 Bancroft Road
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E1 4DQ

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