Skip to main content  


London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is home to an amazing range of documents, images, maps, films and books about London. LMA is free to use and open to everyone.

Whether you're tracing your family history or researching the history of your neighbourhood, if you're interested in London or Londoners, LMA is the place to visit!

We will be unable to produce archive documents from our offsite storage location from 16–23 April 2018 due to a high security event. Items stored offsite are marked on the LMA Catalogue as requiring 48 hours notice to produce. Please contact us as soon as possible if you need documents from our offsite storage during this time.

Forthcoming exhibition - Picturing Forgotten London

Picturing Forgotten London uncovers London’s lost buildings, places that were once the toast of the capital or part of everyday life, left behind by generations of Londoners. Prints, photographs and maps bring together a surprising record of the city, from the 1500s to the twentieth century.

From Columbia Market to the Devil’s Acre, riverside mansions to ragged schools, images created by a variety of artists will appear together for the first time to tell the story of a forgotten city. The exhibition opens on Monday May 21. Visit the exhibition page to find out more.

Current exhibition - Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts

Our current exhibition runs until Wednesday 16 May. The exhibition looks at what happened to men women and children convicted for their crimes in London. Find out more in our news and events section.

Collage - the London Picture Library

Many of the LMA image collections are available on Collage: The London Picture Archive - a website which presents a fascinating glimpse of nearly 600 years of life in the capital.

Among the features of the site, the London Picture Map provides a unique way to access images of buildings and places which no longer exist, presenting a searchable vision of a lost London which allows visitors to view pictures of their neighbourhood from bygone days.

Collage Explore

Family history

If you're looking for ancestors from the London area, you've come to the right place. Explore our family history to find out all the options available to you.

Search the archives

Use our catalogue to search the collections, and plan which documents you want to see when you come to LMA.

Don't forget to register for a History Card that allows you to view original documents when you visit.

Explore the collections

London's history from 1067 to the present day is recorded in a wealth of archives and specialist library books at LMA.

Find out more about the different sources of information we hold on our collections page.

What's happening
Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts
11 Dec 2017 - 16 May 2018
00:00 - 23:59
London Metropolitan Archives
Free - exhibition, no need to book. Open during normal office hours

Between 1700 and 1900, Britain stopped punishing the bodies of convicts and increasingly sought to reform their minds. Exile and forced labour in Australia and incarceration in penitentiaries became the dominant modes of punishment. This exhibition uses the collections of LMA to trace the impact of these punishments on convict lives.

Find out more about Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts
100 Years of the Royal Air Force
24 Apr 2018
14:00 - 15:00
London Metropolitan Archives
Free - booking essential

The RAF was founded in 1918, merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Discover more about related records at LMA and what they reveal, including the experiences of WWI pilots based at Hendon and the story of Cy Grant, one of the first black pilots to serve in the RAF.

Find out more about 100 Years of the Royal Air Force
All events at this location