Waltham Forest Archives and local studies library


Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library hold a wide range of manuscript, printed and pictorial resources for research into the history of the Waltham Forest area and its communities.

We can help if you want to research

  • your family history
  • the history of your house or street
  • development of the local area
  • subjects for a school project or for academic research

Searchroom visits are by prior appointment only at these times

  • Wednesday 2pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm
  • Friday 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm

For information on appointment availability please email wfa.enquiries@walthamforest.gov.uk

For other details see access and contact tabs below

Archives Click to get info

We hold wide-ranging primary sources for the history of our local community.

These include records of:

  • Anglican parishes since 1575 (including parish registers)
  • Chingford Mount Cemetery
  • Local authorities
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Properties and historic buildings
  • Businesses
  • Clubs and societies

Extensive name indexes and local census returns are available in our searchroom.

Local studies library Click to get info

The range of printed sources available in our searchroom includes:

  • Local newspapers
  • Trade directories
  • Electoral registers
  • Council minutes and reports
  • Ordnance Survey and other maps
  • Secondary sources including biographies, histories of organisations, pamphlets and ephemera

Facilities Click to get info

You can view records and archives free of charge, although you will need to make an appointment in advance.

Copying facilities are available, subject to copyright requirements and the physical condition of the original material. Please ask a member of staff for more information and charges.

We regret that we cannot do research for you, but we are here to help you choose relevant sources and make full use of our facilities.

Free Wi-Fi is available in our Searchroom.

Free access to these online resources is available in our Searchroom:

  • Ancestry
  • Essex Ancestors (via Seax from Essex Record Office)

Other records Click to get info

Access and appointments Click to get info

Please contact us to book your appointment, giving some information about your research topic.

The Searchroom is up one short flight of stairs and there is no lift. When booking your appointment please let us know if you require a fully accessible ground floor room.

Contact Click to get info

Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library
Vestry House Museum
Vestry Road 
E17 9NH 

Telephone: 020 8496 4391
Email: wfa.enquiries@walthamforest.gov.uk