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London History

How London LivesBishopsgate Library holds a variety of collections relating to the social and cultural history of London. These include the archive collections of individuals, such as historian Raphael Samuel, police officer Frederick Wensley or Lord Mayor Sir Ralph Perring, and organisations, such as the London History Workshop or the Eton Manor Boys' Club.

The Library also holds a collection of around 50,000 books, pamphlets, illustrations, photographs and maps covering the social and cultural history of London, with particular reference to Bishopsgate and Spitalfields. The London Collection also holds an extensive collection of press cuttings concerning the area around the Institute dating from 1740 and one of the country's finest collections of London guidebooks and trade directories.

Information on the Institute's own history is detailed within the Bishopsgate Institute archive, along with the archives of prominent individuals connected to the organisation, including social reformer William Rogers, librarian Charles Goss and architect Charles Harrison Townsend.

Click the links on the left to further explore our collections on London history.