Waltham Forest archives and local studies library

Mother and young child look at books on the library shelf

The Waltham Forest archives and local studies library are based at Vestry House Museum.

We can help you if you are interested in researching the following:

  • Your family history
  • The history of your house or street
  • The development of the local area and local communities
  • Subjects for a school project or for academic research

We hold on one site a wide range of manuscript, printed and pictorial resources for research into all aspects of the history of the Waltham Forest.

Searchroom visitor information April-May 2017

Sat 22 April, Sat 29 April and Sat 6 May:
The Searchroom will be closed for public appointments on these three dates due to group visits and other special arrangements.

Thu 27 Apr, Fri 28 April, Thu 4 May and Fri 5 May:
Appointments to view original archive sources on these four dates must be booked by 5pm on Saturday 22 April.
Printed and facsimile sources will be available for Searchroom appointments as usual.

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
  • Find My Past
  • 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 make an appointment. 

The searchroom is situated on the first floor, which is accessible by stairs only. If you would prefer to work in a ground floor room, please let us know when you book your appointment.

Contact Click to get info

Searchroom access is by appointment only.

Vestry House Museum
Vestry Road 
Walthamstow 
E17 9NH 

Telephone: 020 8496 4381
Email: vhm.enquiries@walthamforest.gov.uk

Opening times:Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.