Our Special Collections & Archives contain a wide range of original documents, photographs and other images, rare publications, reference books, press cuttings, maps, diaries and all sorts of unexpected ephemera.
We're here to welcome you if you’re carrying out dedicated research or just interested in learning more about the history of your street or building, tracing your ancestors or simply feeling nostalgic.
Find out what we have by searching our catalogue online.
Both the Library and the Special Collections and Archives Researchers’ Area are wheelchair accessible. Assistance dogs are welcome.
There are no membership requirements. Everyone is welcome. We are a reference library only – books and other materials may only be consulted on site.
Monday - Friday, 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday, 10:00 - 20:00 (Archives Researchers’ Area only)
There may be rare instances where the Researchers’ Area is not open late on Wednesdays, this will be advertised @BishopsgateInst. If you would like to check the opening hours before your visit, please email the Special Collections and Archives team firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessing the Archives
Bishopsgate Institute's Special Collections and Archives can be viewed in the Researchers’ Area of our Library.
For more information about the records we hold, search the Online Catalogue
If you require more information, please contact us:
Tel: 020 7392 9270
Copying items from our Special Collections
All photocopying and scanning of material from our Special Collections and Archives is undertaken by staff. We can provide:
- 30p per A4 sheet, 40p per A3 sheet.
- £3 per for the first scan; £1 for each additional page/item
- Scans can be emailed using WeTransfer or provided on CD.
Not all of our collections are suitable for all types of copying; in particular we cannot photocopy the following:
- Fragile items or materials that may be damaged by the copying process
- Foldout plates, maps, plans or any single item larger than A3
- London Directories.
Wherever possible we will offer an alternative (for example we can scan items that cannot be photocopied safely), but we reserve the right to refuse to copy items where the copying process will cause damage. Furthermore, copying orders can only be processed if they are in accordance with current UK copyright law. Copyright in photographs and other artistic works is particularly stringent; it is illegal for us to copy images without the copyright holder's permission.
We welcome researchers to use their own digital cameras (no hand-held scanners or pen devices). There is no charge, but you will be asked to fill in a permissions form outlining the copyright rules and asking for reference numbers of the items you are photographing.
Placing Remote Reprographics Orders
We offer a full reprographics service for readers unable to visit the Institute in person. You will need to request and print out one of our Application forms ("Application for non-commercial purposes" for copies to be used for research or study; "Application to make commercial use of materials" if you require copies to publish) and state the precise references for and nature of the copies you would like. We are happy to provide an estimate of the fees that will be incurred in advance of fulfilling your request. Please contact us with the item reference and description of the material and we will respond with the quote.
Limited resources mean that staff cannot look through files or boxes in order to select items for copying. If copies of individual items from a file are required, a simple file reference may not always be enough for us to locate the papers to be copied quickly and easily. In such cases users will be asked to provide further details if possible, to visit in person, or to send a representative to select the items they would like copied.