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Date updated: 1/12/2023

Explore our images of London

Our image website The London Picture Archive provides free access to over 250,000 historical prints, maps and photographs of London. The images date from 1450 to the 1980s and include all aspects of life in the capital, from the Crystal Palace to Second World War air raid damage. London's schools, churches and workhouses are all included, along with many images of previous generations of Londoners.

You can browse and enjoy of all of the images on the website and order digital copies to print at home.

Visit The London Picture Archive

Focus on family history

The London family history page on our Collections Catalogue is a great place to start if you'd like to track down your ancestors. It provides a good overview of our commonly used sources for family history, more information about what you can do online and links to further guidance, including our guide to researching Family History at London Metropolitan Archives.

We have digitised many of our most popular sources for family historians and made them available to view online in partnership with Ancestry, including over 20 million baptisms, marriage and burials from Anglican parish records.

Have you thought about building a visual history of your family history? Our website Collage - The London Picture Archive includes historical prints, maps photographs of London. The streets, churches, parks and other places that your ancestors knew are waiting to be explored.

Visit our Family History pages to start your journey.

Get to know our collections

Whether already you have a particular theme in mind, or you'd just like to find out more about the documents we have, the research guides on our Collections Catalogue provide a great starting point. Each guide introduces its theme with key contextual information before providing an overview of the documents in our collections which may be useful.

The LMA Collections pages also provide a good introduction to the documents you might discover in our strong rooms, including records of schools, businesses, charities and much, much more.

Enjoy some of the treasures in our collections

Over 1000 of our most popular and interesting documents available to view online through the Digital Documents page of our Collections Catalogue. From the first document in our collections, a charter of William I from 1067, to maps showing Second World War bomb damage, and including Magna Carta and one of only six documents signed by William Shakespeare, they provide a fascinating journey through London's history.

Visit the LMA Collections Catalogue

Discover the Great Parchment Book

The Great Parchment Book of the Honourable The Irish Society is a major survey, compiled in 1639 by a Commission instituted under the Great Seal by Charles I, of all those estates in Derry managed by the City of London through the Irish Society and the City of London livery companies. In February 1786, the book was badly damaged during a fire in the Chamber of London at the Guildhall in the City of London. You can and explore our project conserve and reconstruct the book, and search within it, on our dedicated project website.

Browse LMA digital documents
The Great Parchment Book Transcript PDF (62KB)
A transcript to The Great Parchment Book YouTube video .
Date submitted: 4/10/22
Visit the Great Parchment Book Website

Keep in touch with us

We will continue to share stories from our collection, and information about our services and work to preserve 1000 years of London's history on our social media channels. Please follow us and join the conversation on X, Facebook and Instagram.

We'll also continue to send our regular newsletter, which is always full of interesting articles about our collections and work. If you'd like to receive it, please join our mailing list.

Join the LMA mailing list