View up St Andrew's Hill, showing the premises of R. Lidstone and Sons, carpenters and builders and the Green Dragon. 1883
Popular sources during the recent lift works at LMA
We're very grateful for our readers' understanding and patience while our lift works in the Extension block were underway mid December 2016 - mid January 2017. This led to around 40% of our holdings being unavailable during this period. We store our extensive holdings by shape and size and this does mean that often items from one collection or archive will not be held in the same store. Indeed readers and staff both found it frustrating that items from the same series of volumes might be held in different places and therefore some could be produced while other later or earlier volumes could not. But when readers emailed in with collection references, we could quickly tell them the good or bad news!
We had expected this midwinter period to be quieter than usual with fewer requests and several of the Service Assistants who normally produce documents had been given various extra tasks in anticipation that there would be far fewer productions than usual.
However, requests came in thick and fast in December for sources which were available. Readers had obviously read our website notice carefully as many of the sources that they did request were mentioned there, including perennial favourites such as the Sun fire insurance policy registers, Middlesex Deeds Registry and Lloyds' of London Merchant Navy Captains Registers.
Sources for the history of buildings were particularly popular. During December 2016 productions from our Library were up 300% on December 2015 which included many issues of 'The Builder' and 'Architects' Journal' periodicals. 'The Builder' is a firm staff favourite because of the high quality illustrations it carried and the existence of indexes to both articles and illustrations.
LMA holds important registries of building control case files, plans and drawings series created by the architects, engineers, surveyors and planning departments of the Greater London Council and its predecessors the London County Council, Middlesex County Council and Metropolitan Board of Works. Hundreds of plans and LCC/GLC building act cases files (files created when changes to existing buildings or new developments were planned) were ordered and produced during the lift works period. Many of these files, volumes and plan folders were very heavy so the Service Assistants who weren't working on the planned tasks had to work extra hard to produce them for readers.
If you'd like to know more about our sources for London's buildings, whether you are interested in a particular flat or house or an iconic London building or the history of your street, have a look at our architecture, engineering and infrastructure webpage.