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Archive & Research Facilities

Our research facilities offer a rich source of information on the Royal Borough of Greenwich, including photographs, minutes, manuscripts, records, registers, prints, newspapers and books.

Over the years, information relating to the present day Royal Borough of Greenwich, the former Metropolitan Boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich and their predecessors, have been deposited into our archives.

Areas covered are Abbey Wood, Blackheath, Charlton, Deptford (part), Eltham, Greenwich, Kidbrook, Mottingham (part), New Eltham, North Woolwich (until 1st April 1965), Plumstead, Shooters Hill, Thamesmead and Woolwich. 

During the pandemic, our collections manager and archivist have dedicated themselves to a digital cataloguing project, ensuring that the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s collections and archives are accessible to residents and researchers for years to come. Through this project, they aim to provide residents and researchers with a more detailed list of what the collections and archive hold, and to make this amazing resource more accessible to a wider audience. This work will continue for the next several months, and will occupy the majority of their time and resources.

With this in mind, and in the interest of maintaining a safe workspace for our team and visiting researchers, we intend to re-open Royal Greenwich’s archives for in-person research in 2022.

In the next few weeks, we will begin an email service for research enquiries, with the first half hour’s work offered free of charge. Please submit your enquiries via the form below, and our team will respond as soon as they can, in the order in which the enquiries were received.

Thank you for your patience. 

Parish Registers

Though most of the older parish registers for Greenwich have been deposited with the London Metropolitan Archives and some of the more recent registers may still be at the church, we do have some parish registers in our collection dating back to 1653. Information in parish registers will vary, but, generally, will give you information about the marriages, baptisms, and deaths within the parish. We also have some parish magazines in our collection.

Parish Records

Our extensive collection of parish records includes parish rate books, vestry minutes, and overseer and church warden accounts, covering parishes across the Borough past and present.

Local Authority Records

Our local authority records including council minutes and proceedings from 1900-1965 for the Metropolitan Boroughs of Greenwich and the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich. From 1965 we have council minutes and committee minutes for the London Borough of Greenwich.

Records are not always complete or inclusive. Some may be missing or deposited to other archives and museums.

For more recent council minutes, please contact the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Newspapers

Our archive has a number of local newspapers (including the Kentish Independent, the Kentish Mercury, the Eltham Times, and the Newsshopper) available on microfilm, some dating back to the 1840s. Each newspaper covers a specific area, but often crosses over boundaries into other areas and boroughs.

Images

Our vast collection of images includes photographs, prints, watercolours, drawings, and postcards.

We also have a selection of these photos available to be printed off without needing to visit, available here.

Maps

Our extensive map collection includes ordnance survey maps, geology maps, and bomb maps from World War II.

Local History Books

We have a large collection of local history books that we use to support our own ongoing research, as well as research enquiries. If you are looking for a specific title, please get in touch and we’ll let you know if we have it, and help you with your research as we can.

Our reading room is unfortunately not open at this time.

Other items

We also have census records on microfilm, deeds, directories, and ephemera boxes.

Some of the films in our collection can be viewed on the London Screen Archives website.

Research Guidelines

  • Please do not consume food and drink in the research room. 
  • Please use a pencil to make your notes, pencils are freely available from our staff.
  • Please leave images and documents in their protective sleeves. 
  • Some items may require gloves to be worn before they can be handled. Staff will advise you on this
  • Please put your mobile on silent or vibrate. If you need to take a call, please do so outside of the research room.

Testimonials

"A big thank you from Australia to the archive research team at the RGHT. My request provided me with a pleasant surprise with background photographic and newsprint information that I had been unable to locate elsewhere.  Thanks again to the archivists."

- R Burton, Brisbane Australia. 

"Finding what I needed, and then in discussing with Pauline the Archivist that there was even more, taking this into a deeper aspect, superb - the service and the resources are truly superb"

- Anonymous

Send us your research enquiry