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London Metropolitan Archives is free to visit to carry out your own study or research and to see our exhibitions. We run a variety of events and school activities. In order to view original archive documents, you will need to apply for a free History Card, but you can use computers, the mediatheque and the open shelves of the library without one. 

Annual Closure 2024 Due to major building works affecting the public research spaces, LMA will be closed from 4:30pm on Thursday 18 July and will re-open at 10am on Monday 5 August 2024.

Ordering archive documents

  • Please order your documents in advance online. If you order in advance, you can consult your documents shortly after arrival
  • You can order documents on the day at hourly intervals but we strongly recommend ordering in advance. The limit is now 10 items per collection
  • Last orders will be at 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 4pm on Wednesdays. Please order online in advance or make sure you are at LMA in good time to place an order
  • Orders for items to be viewed on Saturdays must be made in advance - any orders must be made by 12 noon on the Friday before at the very latest
  • If you have obtained permission to see closed records, please contact the enquiry team to order these records in advance of your visit

Saturday opening and additional opening hours

LMA is open late on Wednesday evenings, until 7pm.

We are also open on the following Saturdays from 10am-4.30pm

  • 8 June
  • 13 July
  • 10 August
  • 14 September
  • 12 October
  • 14 December

Please note: For Saturday opening, original documents need to be ordered in advance (and the cut-off time for document requests is 12 noon on the Friday preceding the Saturday). You will not be able to order documents on the day.

On open Saturdays, you will also be able to see our current exhibition and of course there is the usual free access to Ancestry, the LMA catalogues, access to the Mediatheque and the open shelves of the LMA Library.

History Cards can be issued on the day.

If you have any questions about Saturday opening, please contact us, or check some of the previously asked questions which follow

Please contact LMA in advance of your visit and staff will explain how you can order documents to view on a Saturday

Yes, just ask staff when you return items to the desk that you wish to see them on Saturday and they will be kept on reserve for you

Yes. Please speak to staff in the Archive Study Area once you have consulted original documents.

Contact the enquiry Team

History Card

You can only access original documents at LMA if you have a valid History Card

  • If your History Card has expired, you can only renew it at LMA - you will need to bring a valid ID and proof of address - see our History Card page for full details
  • If you don't have a History Card, you can apply online and provide proof of ID when you arrive at LMA
Apply for a History Card