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Guide to records collected by LMA

Date created: 6/24/2020

We can provide advice on potential deposits or donations of material relating to the City of London or Greater London area.

This guide is a general outline to historical records London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) may accept from an individual, family or organisation.

Single documents through to larger collections may be offered to LMA.

We usually only accepts original (not copy) records. Digitally-born records are accepted. LMA also acquires some types of personal/family records, photographs, prints, maps and other graphic material. General secondary source material will only be accepted where it is useful for researchers as background material and will be added to LMA’s reference library. LMA does not usually accept in the short-term regularly used records (ie minutes from the last five to fifteen years) or those with access restrictions under Data Protection legislation (ie staff, customers or membership).

For further details, see our Collections Acquisition and Management Policy.

A Potential Acquisitions Enquiry Form can be obtained by contacting our enquiries team.

No records should be sent to LMA without seeking prior confirmation. Unsolicited material may be returned.

All enquirers wishing to deposit records should contact LMA, telephone 020 7332 3820 or email our enquiry team for further information and advice.

Organisational record types

For those collections which reflect organisations the following types of record are often accepted:

  • Constitutional - establishment, constitution, privileges and internal regulation, including charters, grants, royal licences, articles, certificate of incorporation
  • Council, committees, annual general meetings, trustees – minutes (signed version where available), agendas, presented reports and papers, annual reports
  • Chairman / director / other key positions – correspondence/project/planning files, reports, business plans
  • Secretary / clerk – letters, correspondence files, events, notices and circulars
  • Operational / branch / centres / members / cases – operational registers, lists, rules, factory records
  • Finance – annual accounts, cash books, account books and ledgers, specific account books (no low level statement/invoices/cash stubs should be transferred)
  • Staff – registers, ledgers, files on key individuals only, pension scheme, rules
  • Property – plans, deeds, building works, inventories, valuations, artwork papers
  • Printed and other (mainly in-house) – photographs, scrapbooks, news cuttings, printed magazines/newsletters, leaflets, booklets, posters, books on history, audio-visual (films, video and audio cassettes), website snapshot, small related written artefacts (most artefacts are suitable for museums only)

Family and personal records types

Families and individuals may have had involvement in organisations (for record types see above), their collections may also include diaries, letters, photographs and other collected items.

Property records including deeds and plans may also be considered but these are often more appropriate to more local collecting repositories such as London Borough archives.

Graphic and visual collections

Some individuals have actively built over time collections of photographs, posters, drawings, maps, prints and other printed material, and/or audio-visual formats such as films, videos and tapes which have relevance to London.

Further information

  • You can find out more about the variety of records we hold by exploring our collections.
  • Explore the work of the acquisitions team to find out more about the work carried out to increase and improve the collections at LMA.
  • You might also be interested in seeing the policies which set out our detailed position on acquisitions and many other aspects of our work.