Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

Access to Archives and Manuscripts

Details of access arrangements from 20th April can be found here.

What we hold...

The Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library is the local record office for the City of London (the "Square Mile"), although it does not hold the archives of the City of London Corporation itself which are separately administered.

Its holdings date from the 11th century and include ecclesiastical and probate records, records of City wards and parishes, and of around 80 of its ancient livery companies, military and taxation records, and the records of several foundations which originated in the City of London, for example Christ's Hospital School and Trinity House. In keeping wit h its location, it also holds considerable business and commercial archives, including those of the London Stock Exchange, Lloyd's of London, the London Chamber of Commerce and numerous banks, insurance companies, stockbrokers, merchants, etc.

Our catalogue is available on the City of London Corporation's internet pages (Address: The catalogue lists items available in all of the City's lending and reference libraries, not only in Guildhall Library’s Manuscripts Section. Further information and hints on how to use the catalogue can found here.

Note: The Section is currently closed for refurbishment. Access to all records held by the Section will be provided through the reading rooms at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) from 9.30am on Monday, 20th April 2009. Our distance enquiry service will continue as normal. Details of access arrangements can be found here.


The Manuscripts Section is pleased to help enquirers but staff time is limited. The Section is willing to tell enquirers about its holdings and answer specific requests where sufficient background information is supplied. However, it is unable to undertake lengthy research on behalf of enquirers. You may like to employ a professional record agent from the list provided by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. Published guides to certain classes of records are on sale in the Library Bookshop.

Last updated November 2009