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Image showing a will indexed by volunteers at LMA

​Image showing part of a will indexed in an LMA volunteer project

Volunteering at this busy archive is an excellent way to learn more about London, its fascinating history and diverse communities.

You will be able to develop your own skills and help to provide an essential service for everyone interested in the history of London.

Download the Volunteer policy (161KB) and Volunteer handbook (225KB).

We also provide internships for people who are studying to become archivists or who are interested in a career in archives.

Download the internship policy (113KB).

Interested? If you'd like to get involved, please visit our enquiry service page, or ask a member of staff for further information on volunteer opportunities. You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with any new projects.

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Volunteering opportunities 

Helping people who visit us

We welcome over 30,000 visitors a year and receive over 18000 distance enquiries a year from all round the world.

Our users have a wide range of research interests, including family, community and local history, and we also work with engineering and architectural consultants, lawyers, social workers and local government organisations.

Our Public Services Team are responsible for:

  • Welcoming researchers to our Clerkenwell site
  • Providing advice on and access to archives in our public research areas
  • Answer enquiries that arrive by post, email, fax, telephone and online

We run an engagement and learning service and through talks and visits from learners of all ages we aim to introduce new users to the wealth of information that can be found at LMA.

Our family history volunteers support the work of the permanent Public Services staff on the Saturdays we open to the public. In particular, they assist first time visitors, showing them how to get started on their family history research. Volunteers find this a very rewarding role which makes great use of their years of experience.

We are always looking for people with family history experience to join our group of volunteers.

Caring for the archives

The work of our Preservation Team is very varied. Projects include:

  • repairing damaged documents
  • taking action to prevent future damage
  • packaging archives correctly
  • training staff and users on the proper handling of documents

Volunteers work in a number of ways and projects have included:

  • cleaning and numbering wills and Freedom papers
  • packaging some of our most vulnerable photographic collections

Preservation volunteers are trained to carry out these tasks and we are interested in hearing from anyone who feels they may have the necessary level of skill and care to handle fragile items and to help us preserve them for generations to come.

Help to describe archives

LMA's Acquisition and Cataloguing Team liaises with the owners of archives to build an archival resource for London that reflects its history and development as a capital city and world metropolis.

It also catalogues the large collections of records that we take in as well as improving and automating existing lists for use by the public. Its work is a key part of making the information in our care accessible to all. 

​Cataloguing Black African Caribbean History

In April 2014, Friends of the Huntley Archives at LMA (FHALMA) and LMA launched a new volunteer project to catalogue and make accessible two sections of the Huntley Collections – unique original photographs which are part of the Huntley Archives, and printed books as part of the Huntley Library deposited at LMA. Further information can be found on the FHALMA page.

Examples of work carried out by volunteers at LMA

Showing 4 results
  1. Image showing the captains register entry for Scott of the Antarctic Ahoy there!The Lloyd's of London Captain's registers index
    Find out the full story of our longest running volunteer project – the indexing of the Lloyd’s of London Captains Registers, 1869-1911
  2. Chubb project volunteer working at LMA Chubb Locks project
    2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of Chubb and Son Limited, lock and safe makers. Richard Wiltshire, Senior Archivist gives an overview of the collection held at London Metropolitan Archives and celebrates the completion of a major volunteer project.
  3. Diocese of London Consistory Court Wills - volunteer project
    Wills contain a huge amount of information on personal relationships, occupations, material belongings and even religious conviction, and as such are an invaluable resource for family, local, social and economic historians alike. Find out detials of this volunteer project to index the names which appear in the wills
  4. Nothing ventured: my time as a volunteer on the Cy Grant project
    Jane Johnson writes about her experience as a volunteer on the Cy Grant archive project
Showing 4 results