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History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 13: The City •

The City

Museum of London

The Museum of London

More resources

Archives, libraries & museums

This page presents some of the archival and library resources available on the study of urban history along with some museums that hold collections in the area. The listings below cover UK collections and one US collection.

UK collections

Museum of London

The Museum's collections include material dating from prehistory to the present day, including dress and textils, printed ephemera, oral history records, historic photographs and much more. The permanent galleries cover the history of London starting from "London before London" and finishing with 21st century London, whilst special exhibitions cover a variety of different topics throughout the year. The Museum in Docklands, a branch of the museum, looks at themes including the development of the docks, the River Thames, the docks at war and the regeneration of the docks.

Address: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Tel: 0870 444 3852
London Metropolitan Archives

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is the archive repository for many London-wide organisations. The archives of the City of London Corporation (COL) and the former Greater London Council (GLC), London County Council (LCC), Middlesex County Council (MCC) and their predecessors are held here. LMA also holds records for many religious, public, business, local authority and other organisations based in London. The dates of items that can be found here range from medieval to the present day, and the collections are constantly expanding.

Address: 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB
Tel: 020 7332 3820
Bishopsgate Library at the Bishopsgate Institute

The Bishopsgate Library at the Bishopsgate Institute has been collecting contemporary library and archive material since its opening in 1895 and holds a variety of fascinating and valuable sources for the study of social, cultural and topographical history of London from the nineteenth century to the present day. Highlights include: London Collection comprising c45,000 books, pamphlets, maps, photographs and ephemera concerning the social, cultural and topographical history of London, with particular reference to the East End ; the Raphael Samuel collection, including research papers on London and the East End; oral history recordings; the London History Workshop collection - a photographic collection concerning the social and cultural history of London; and the Co-operative Movement Collection, including books, archives and pamphlets of the London Co-operative Society, Women's Co-operative Guild and co-operation, both nationally and internationally, from the mid-nineteenth century to the modern day.

Address: 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH
Tel: 020 7392 9270

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International collections

Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum's collection of over 22 million artifacts is a rich source for the study of Chicago history, both as urban centre and as part of the larger United States. The Museum's collecting scope currently emphasizes five areas: Living in the Metropolitan Area, Working in the Metropolitan Area, Governing the Metropolitan Area, The Built Environment and Individuals and Ideas.

Address: 1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: 312 642 4600

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