Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives document the experiences of everyday people, and the extraordinary individuals and organisations who have strived for social, political and cultural change.
Since the archive opened to the public in 1895 it has been steadily growing, with unique collections gifted and loaned to us. Some are London focused, but the lives they preserve and the issues they explore have national and global resonance.
The collections offer both breadth and depth. We have 150,000 books, pamphlets, maps and photographs of London. The Lesbian and Gay News media Archive (LAGNA) alone holds 350,000 press cuttings. The photographic archives over 500,000 images. We have a growing oral-history archive and the collections contain fascinating ephemera, from banners and badges to club flyers and condoms.
This trove of materials is supported by a searchable online catalogue.
An update on our re-opening
The Special Collections & Archives has re-opened. We are pleased to be welcoming back researchers on a limited appointment-only basis.
We are committed to re-opening in a way which is safe for researchers and staff. We have social distancing measures in place and have redesigned our systems and routes through our building so that we can operate safely and smoothly.
10:00 – 16:00
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Due to limited space in the Library and the need for social distancing, we are only able to welcome eight researchers per day. These places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Booking a place
To book a place in the Special Collections and Archives, please contact email@example.com. Tell us which days you’d like to visit and the collections/subject areas you want to consult. We are currently taking bookings until the end of August 2020.
Once you’ve booked a place, we will email you with further instructions for your visit.
How we’re keeping you safe
We’re limiting the number of researchers who can access our spaces and have adjusted routes for accessing and using the Library to allow for social distancing.
Clear signage will appear throughout the building to guide you and remind you of social distancing measures.
Hand sanitiser and bathroom facilities will be available throughout the building.
Staff will sit behind screens where possible and wear masks.
All researchers will be expected to wear face masks at all times in our building, including when consulting material.
Collection items will be quarantined after use.
In the coming months we may adjust our processes and opening times as government guidance changes, and in response to feedback from researchers and staff.
Eton Manor Boys’ Club was founded in 1909 in Hackney and was funded and run by four Old Etonians (Arthur Villiers, Gerald Wellesley, Alfred Wagg, and Sir Edward Cadogan) until it closed in 1967. The clubhouse, together with its nearby sports ground (The Wilderness), provided first-class sports and social facilities for boys aged 14 to 18, and who subsequently became members of the Old Boys’ Club. Eton Manor Boys’ Club boasts many former members who became international sportsmen.