Idea Store - Useful Websites

Useful Websites

The Local Studies and Archive service recommends the following websites:

Access to Archives - Search for archival material held at the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives as well as other institutions.

Ancestry Library Edition - Researching your family tree? Discover genealogy, family trees and family history records online. This service is only accessible at your local Idea Store or library

Anglo-German Family History Society

Archon Directory

BBC Family History - hints, tips and ideas for tracing your family history

BFI Films - Petticoat Lane 1903 and 1926

Battle of Cable Street - learn about the history of the Battle of Cable Street and the work that The Cable Street Group do to this day

Bishopsgate Institute Library - specialises in London history, labour and socialist history, freethought and humanism, co-operation and protest and campaigning

British History Online includes digitised copy of the 'Survey of London: Volume 27 Spitalfields and Mile End New Town

British in India - Online Maritime Guides 

British Library - England's national deposit library with an extensive online collection, also holds talks, events and exhibitions

Building History  includes researching historic buildings in the British Isles

Burke's Peerage - definitive historical guide to the UK titled and landed families

Charles Booth Online Archive - includes the famous poverty maps of East London as well as digitised excerpts from original survey notebooks, police notebooks and records of the Stepney Union workhouse

Centre for Metropolitan History

Church Plans Online 

Cyndi's List - useful starting point for genealogists

Dead Pubs - pub history of London and the surrounding area. Includes photos and descriptions of pubs that no longer exist

East of London Family History Society - covers all of East London not just Tower Hamlets

Eastside Community Heritage Hidden Histories

Family Search - free online genealogical research website. Includes non-conformist registers not found on Ancestry

Federation of Family History Societies includes a directory of member societies and a number of useful information sheets about family history.

Genmaps -  images of English, Welsh and Scottish local history maps

GENUKI for genealogists and family historians in the British Isles.

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

Hackney Archives Department

Hall-Carpenter Archives - Britain's major resource for the study of lesbian and gay activism in the UK, from the 1950s to the present day.

Historical Directories - local and trade directories from England and Wales for the period 1750 - 1919

History of the County of Middlesex Vol. 11 Stepney and Bethnal Green - published history of the area, part of the Victoria County History series. Covers history of the area from the 11 to the 19 centuries

History Pin - a collaborative website which puts historical photos on google maps to show what the area used to look like

Huguenot Library - Huguenot collections at the LSE are now stored off site and require two weeks notice for viewing

Huguenot Society of Great Britain 

Images of England - National Trust website of historic images and places

Island History Trust - dedicated to recording and preserving the history of the Isle of Dogs and the people who live there

JewishGen - Jewish genealogy search

Jewish Genealogical Society

LAGNA - Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive comprises of 200,000 cuttings taken from the non-gay press on all LGBT matters since the late nineteenth century as well as a reference library of books on LGBT topics

Legacy of Limehouse Chinatown - includes oral history accounts and photos

London Metropolitan Archives includes parish registers, school and workhouse records.

Making Britain - discover how South Asians shaped the nation.

Moving Here - 200 years of immigration history

Museum of London Docklands - history of the docks and the surrounding areas, part of the Museum of London

The National Archives  

National Library of Scotland Map Images - access high-resolution zoomable images of over 130,000 maps of Scotland, England and Wales.

Newham Archives and Local Studies - for all enquiries concerning the borough of Newham

Newsplan - history and society through local newspapers in London and the South East

Old Bailey Online - free online database to search for trials at the Old Bailey

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - for free access to this subscription service enter the prefix 'TH' followed by your library card number.

Refugee Council Archive - over 35,000 items relating to migration and refugees, at the University of East London

Researching Historic Buildings in the British Isles - building history including photographs and maps

Swadhinata Trust - secular Bengali heritage and history group, includes oral histories, photographs, workshops, walks and publications

Tower Hamlets Cemetery

Tower Hamlets History On-Line includes many interesting articles about social conditions in the borough's past.

A Vision of Britain Through Time - using censuses, maps and other sources it attempts to create an idea of life in Britain over the last 200 years. It is searchable by place name or postcode

Working Lives - Oral histories, photographs, videos and personal reminiscenses of people working in different industries on the Thames

Walking Proud - LGBT oral history project about LGBT people's experiences and lives in East London. Includes links to hours of video oral histories on YouTube

Women's Library - most extensive women's history collection in the UK. The library also provides talks and workshops on women's history as well as exhibitions

The Workhouses Guide - this is an excellent resource for finding out more information about workhouses