Waltham Forest Archives and local studies library

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 visits are by prior appointment only on Thursday to Saturday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.

For contact details and access information please see tabs below.

Special arrangements in September to October 2018

Please contact us by 5pm on Thursday 6 September if you wish to view original archival documents on any of these dates:

  • Thursday 13, Friday 14 September
  • Thursday 20, Friday 21, Saturday 22 September
  • Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29 September

Thursday 13 September: the Searchroom will close at 4pm

Events

Saturday 15 September 2018
Searchroom open day 11am to 4.30pm.

Drop in to view a display of sources relating to the history of Waltham Forest in World War One. All welcome. Access via stairs. Some facsimile sources will be displayed on ground floor.

Part of World War One Day at Vestry House Museum and St Mary’s Church on Sat 15 September, a partnership event organised and supported by:
  •  Western Front Association, East London Branch
  •  London Borough of Waltham Forest
  •  Vestry House Museum
  • Walthamstow St Mary’s Church,
 
Saturday 6 October 2018
Searchroom open day 11am to 4.30pm.
Drop in to view a display of sources relating to family history research in Waltham Forest. All welcome. Access via stairs. Some facsimile sources will be displayed on ground floor.

Part of Family History Open Day at Vestry House Museum on Sat 6 Oct 11am to 4.30pm, a partnership event organised and supported by:

  • Waltham Forest Family History Society
  • Vestry House Museum
Waltham Forest Family History Society invites you to join in celebrating its 40th anniversary! Let us help you to start researching your family history, with free computer sessions and useful tips. Hear talks on Waltham Forest in the first half of the 20th century. See displays of material that show what life was like for families living in our area then. All welcome!

For further information email Mark Carroll at mcarroll@waitrose.com
or visit www.wffhs.org.uk

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.

Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library
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.