Archives and local history

We collect, preserve and provide access to records that contribute to Hackney's socio-economic and cultural identity to help everyone understand Hackney's past and present.

We're the official repository for the historic records of the London Borough of Hackney and its predecessors, including minutes and reports. Our reference collections support research into Hackney, Stoke Newington and Shoreditch, providing contextual information about the local area and its residents.

Our collections - 600 years of history

We are always adding to our collections. Our oldest record dates from 1356, whilst our newest are from 2014. All records are connected to the areas of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington.           

Before you visit

Make sure you get the most from your visit by reading our tips to help plan your day. You'll need to order unique records in advance of your visit.  

User support and enquiries

We offer advice on how best to access the vast and complex collections at Hackney Archives. Please contact the team with your questions including as much information as possible. This enquiry service is free of charge, but does not include extensive research. 

Searching online

To search our Archives catalogue, please use the National Archives, limit your search to 'Other archives' in the 'Held by' section, then enter 'Hackney Archives department'.

To search the Local Studies Library, please use Advanced search and limit your search to 'Library catalogue'.

  • Ancestry (library edition) (access available in Archives search room or Hackney libraries only)
  • London Screen Archives includes films from Hackney Archives (search Hackney). Some films are available to view
  • search our historic images - we have a large collection of photographs available to view in the search room; a sample of which are available to view online. If you can't find the image you are looking for, please contact us 

Volunteering at Hackney Archives

We're looking for enthusiastic and hard working individuals who are passionate about heritage to assist us with digitising a large photographic collection so that it can be made publically available.

We hold a collection of 150,000 negatives captured between 1952 and 1979 by Gibson's photography studio (formerly situated on Lower Clapton Road, Hackney). The Gibson collection records the people of Hackney as they got married, worked, celebrated and mourned and offers a unique insight into life in this diverse London borough over a 27 year period.

You'll gain experience of caring for a historic photography collection, supporting a large scale digitisation project, creating increased access to collections, researching social histories and using a variety of ways to engage the public with archive collections. We have an induction process during which we'll give you further information about the role and initial training.

For more information and to apply please fill in the application form and return it to etienne.joseph@hackney.gov.uk.

Friends of Hackney Archives

The Friends of Hackney Archives is a membership charity that supports the work of Hackney Archives. They provide practical support when needed, express the views of users to the Council and administer a donations fund to purchase and conserve collections.

Page updated: 20/07/2017 15:19:16