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Useful Websites

The Local Studies and Archive service recommends the following websites:

Ancestry Library Edition - Researching your family tree? Discover genealogy, family trees and family history records online. Access to this resource has temporarily expanded to allow Idea Store members remote access from home, courtesy of Proquest and its partner Ancestry. Login with your membership number and PIN will be required.

Anglo-German Family History Society- research the family history of people from German-speaking parts of Europe who emigrated to the UK

Archon Directory - search for UK archive collections by location

Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives - hire professionals to undertake family history research on your behalf

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

Battle of Cable Street - learn about the history of the Battle of Cable Street and the work The Cable Street Group do today

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

Bomb Sight – interactive map of bomb sites in London during the Blitz

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- background information for researching mariners

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

British Newspaper Archives - digitised historic newspapers, free to search in Tower Hamlets libraries and Idea Stores

British Pathé - highlights from British Pathé and the Reuters historical film collection

Building History  - guides to 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 poverty maps of East London as well as digitised excerpts from survey notebooks, police notebooks and records of the Stepney Union workhouse

COLLAGE The London Picture Archive - Over 250,000 free images of London from the collections at London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery

Cyndi's List - useful starting point for genealogists

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

Deceased Online - the central database for UK burials and cremations

East London History Society - for those interested in the history of East London, including the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham

East of London Family History Society - covers the whole of East London including Tower Hamlets

Eastside Community Heritage Hidden Histories – East London community archive which holds over 4,000 oral histories, thousands of photographs and videos

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 useful information sheets about family history

Find A Will – Search and order copies of UK wills for any person who died after 1858

FreeBMD - free searchable database of UK birth, marriage and death index entries

Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park - for researching individuals buried at Tower Hamlets Cemetery

General Register Office - order copies of UK birth, marriage and death certificates

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

GENUKI - for genealogists and family historians in the British Isles

Hackney Archives- for all enquiries relating to the London borough of Hackney

Historical Directories of England and Wales – digitised historic street and trade directories

History of the County of Middlesex Vol. 11 Stepney and Bethnal Green - published history of the area from the 11th to the 19th century, taken from the Victoria County History series

History Pin - collaborative website which allows users to pin historical photos to maps in order to show what areas once look like

Huguenot Library - Huguenot collections at UCL

Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland – member for those who respect and admire the Huguenots and seek to perpetuate their memory

Historic England photos – searchable database of historic images

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

JewishGen - Jewish family history website including the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry

Jewish Genealogical Society- British genealogy society for people researching Jewish family history

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

Layers of London - access free historic maps of London including some a selection from Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

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

London’s Screen Archives – view digitised historic films from over seventy London repositories, including Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

LSE LGBT Collections - primary source material relating to gay and lesbian history, including the Hall-Carpenter Archives

Making Britain - discover how South Asians shaped the nation between 1870 and 1950

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 Discovery Catalogue - search for archival material held at the National Archives and other UK institutions

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 London Borough of Newham

Numbi Arts - Somali community arts organisation based in East London

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 '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

RootsChat - large forum for discussing family history, sharing research and making research requests

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

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

A Vision of Britain Through Time - using census returns, maps and other sources this site attempts to create a picture of life in Britain over the last 200 years

Women's Library - most extensive women's history collection in the UK, providing talks and workshops on women's history as well as exhibitions

The Workhouse - excellent resource for finding out more information about workhouses.