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London Collection

London for the Curious

Bishopsgate Library’s London collection covers inner London, with a particular focus on the City of London and Spitalfields. 

It describes all major aspects of the character of London and its social, economic and architectural development. 

The collection is particularly strong on 19th century social history, but has many wider materials about the capital’s long and varied history. The collection continues to grow with the addition of publications and other materials concerning the modern development of London.

The London collection includes:

  • 45,000+ books, pamphlets and journal extracts
  • 2,000+ photos
  • 275 prints and watercolours
  • 250+ maps, from as far back as the 17th century
  • 350+ miscellaneous deeds
  • 40 currently received journals, magazines and annual reports plus 350+ titles that are no longer published
  • newspaper cuttings and ephemera, starting from the late 19th century, about Bishopsgate and Spitalfields

A number of images, illustrations and documents from the London Collection can be seen on the following websites and resources.

Bishopsgate Library Flickr Stream
HistoryPin
Spitalfields Life 

Follow Library and Archives Manager Stef Dickers on Twitter to see regular images from our London Collection in our Photo of the Day and weird and interesting books from our collections in the upcoming feature Book Cover of the Week.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material in the London Collection is arranged in a classification scheme initially devised by Charles Goss, Institute Librarian from 1897-1941. The main headings of the scheme are:

A

Bibliography

G

Public health

B

Ethics

H

Engineering

C

Religion

J

Trades

D

Sociology

K

Art & Architecture

E

Literature

L

History

F

Science

M

Biography

All books acquired since 2005 are listed in the online catalogue, older books are currently only listed in the card catalogue and will be added to the online catalogue gradually.

Geographical Scope

The London Collection covers inner London - the old 28 metropolitan boroughs of the London County Council, plus the City of London. The local history section of the London Collection is arranged by metropolitan borough.