We’re recruiting… social media & communications volunteers

Archives for London has a growing community on Twitter and Facebook and we’re looking for volunteers to help us grow with them.

We’re also looking for people to support our transition to, and ongoing maintenance of, our shiny new website currently in development.

Please email if you are

  • passionate about archives in and about London and the unique role they play in helping us enjoy and learn about life and work in our capital city
  • committed to bringing clear communications to AfL’s members and beyond
  • confident with social and digital media
  • able to offer AfL regular volunteer time

and let us know how you would like to get involved.

Can’t get involved yourself – please share this post with your friends and colleagues:
Interested in joining @archivesforlondon’s volunteers to work on social media and communications? See

And see our Twitter and Facebook pages to see what we’re doing online

Archives for London AGM – 1 December 2016

The Archives for London AGM will take place on 1 December 2016 at 5:45pm, immediately before the December seminar.

We look forward to many of our members joining for the review of the year.

1. Apologies for absence

2. Minutes of previous AGM 2015

3. Chairman’s Report

4. Financial Report (circulated at the meeting)

5. Committee Matters

5.1. Appointment of Board Members

5.2. Re-election of Board Members

5.3. Resignation of Board Members

6.    AOB

Evolution from the embers: programme revealed

We’re delighted to share the full programme for AfL’s 2016 conference which takes place on 14 October.

Speakers and delegates will spend the day investigating how Londoners responded to the two blazing incidents that defined our capital city; the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of World War II.

Given historical insights to the Great Fire are Dr Vanessa Harding, Stephen Porter and Dr Felicity Henderson.

Looking at what archives tell us about the Blitz are Laurence Ward, Darren Bryant and Peter Larkham.

Full details on our events page, updated news item below and of course on AfL’s EventBrite page, AfL members £17; non-members £25.

Latest AfL Newsletter is now online

Missed issue 33 of the Archives for London Newsletter?

You can now browse it online along with many previous editions.

Archives for London conference 2016: Evolution from the embers

Evolution from the embers

How Londoners responded to the Great Fire and the Blitz

2016 marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and the 75th anniversary of the culmination of the major Blitz offensive against London. AfL’s conference will explore how the capital dealt with these catastrophic events and was able to recover so quickly afterwards.

London panorama 1666

Exploring London in 1666 and life after the Great Fire are Dr Vanessa Harding, University of London; Dr Felicity Henderson, University of Exeter and Dr Stephen Porter, Charterhouse archivist.

Whilst Laurence Ward, LMA, doctoral student Darren Bryant and Peter Larkham, Birmingham City University are among those to discuss the impact of the Blitz across London in 1941.

The day includes guided tours of LMA’s exhibition: London’s Baking! Bakers, Cakes, Bread and Puddings from 1666 to the present day.

Early bird delegate rates until 18 September: AfL members £14 (then £17), non-members £20 (then £25).

Book online via EventBrite or download the AfL conference 2016 booking form

Full programme

10:00 Registration and tea/coffee

10:15 Welcome: Anne Barrett, chair of Archives for London

10:20 The strength and treasure of the nation: London on the eve of the Great Fire
Dr Vanessa Harding, Professor of London History, Birkbeck, University of London

11:05 London’s Great Fire and its Aftermath
Stephen Porter, Charterhouse archivist

11:50 Robert Hooke, his diary and the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire
Dr Felicity Henderson Lecturer in Archives and Material Culture, University of Exeter

12.35 Lunchtime (lunch is not included; tea and coffee will be available) and guided tours of LMA’s exhibition: London’s Baking! Bakers, Cakes, Bread and Puddings from 1666 to the present day

2:00 The London County Council bomb damage maps
Laurence Ward, Head of Digital Services at London Metropolitan Archives

2:45 The London Blitz 1940-1945: an examination into diversity of experience across localities of London
Darren Bryant, doctoral student

3:30 The replanning of London after the Second World War: plans and sources
Peter Larkham, Professor of Planning at Birmingham City University

4:15 Concluding remarks: Anne Barrett

Book now on EventBrite

New archive digitisation grant launched from TownsWeb Archiving

Archive Digitisation Grant from TownsWeb ArchivingA new digitisation grant fund has launched, offering grants of up to £4000 to support UK archives looking to digitise their collections.

The TWA Digitisation Grant opened for applications at the beginning of August and welcomes applications from public, private, and business archives based in the UK.

The Grant can be used to digitise bound books, manuscripts, oversize maps and plans, 35mm slides, microfilm/fiche, glass plate negatives, and other two-dimensional cultural heritage media.

Applications will be assessed and the winners selected by a panel of influential judges from the heritage sector: including ARA chief executive – John Chambers; HLF appointed special advisor – Claire Adler; and senior digitisation consultant at TownsWeb Archiving – Paul Sugden.

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2016.

Find out how to apply and read more details at:

AfL co-hosted workshop

A many sided crystal; the many facets of physicist and electrical engineer Silvanus Phillips Thompson (1851-1916)

Co-hosted by Imperial College London, University of Leeds, Institution of Engineering & Technology, British Society for the History of Science, and Archives for London.

Marking the centenary of the death of scientist SP Thompson, this unique workshop will investigate his historical significance and directions for future research.

Programme includes:

  • Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds), “Silvanus Phillips Thompson: Polymath, Authority and Critic”
  • Matt Stanley (New York University), “The Quaker Silvanus Thompson, Scientist and ‘Sincere Friend’
  • Mat Paskins (University of Aberystwyth), “Silvanus Thompson’s Working Worlds”
  • Steve Pumfrey (University of Lancaster), “Thompson on Gilbert’s De Magnete
  • Geoffrey Cantor (University of Leeds & UCL), “Thompson, Biographer”
  • Stathis Arapostathis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), “Thompson’s Controversies over Patents”
  • Anne Barrett (Imperial College, London) & Anne Locker (Institution of Engineering & Technology), “The Thompson Archives”

Full programme at

All welcome.

Delegates £25; AfL members £10.
Refreshments and lunch included.

Venue: Westminster Quaker Meeting House,
52 St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4EA

Download the flyer for A many sided crystal.

Book online via Eventbrite

Archives for London Summer Soirée

An evening allegrezza

Join us for a drinks reception, music and history at the Royal College of Music for the AfL summer soirée

Set in the beautiful buildings designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield and opened in 1894, we’re delighted that this year’s summer soirée is kindly hosted by the Royal College of Music.

RCM Librarian Peter Linnitt will talk about the treasures of the College’s collections. To accompany the customary AfL hospitality, music is again supplied by RCM student Fiona Gibbs & colleagues.

Join us for an evening of summer cheer and joy, discover how the iconic buildings, facilities & collections make RCM the envy of the world & how its history and archives contribute in inspiring students.

Royal College of Music (please meet in the main entrance)
Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS

Tickets just £5 for AfL members; guests (booking from 11 July) £10.
Book online at

Download the 2016 Summer Soiree information

New membership year; don’t miss out on your AfL events

It’s April and time for members of Archives for London to renew their membership.

At just £12 for an individual member it really does represent great value for money, getting you into AfL seminars completely free of charge and with great discounts for our annual conference and the new AfL practicals – a brand new series launched for 2016-17.

In fact, if you attend just two AfL seminars a year you have broken even with your membership fee, and that’s not to mention the interesting facts and helpful finds you will get from the subject matters that we cover and conversations we have, PLUS you get the AfL newsletter and preferential advance booking for all our events including the summer soiree.

Not been a member before but want to join – just download the membership form, fill it in and send to our helpful membership secretary Jeff. (Thanks Jeff!)

And there is no need for organisations to feel left out; we have a range of memberships made for you whether you are big or small and institutional membership comes with additional benefits to spread the word about London’s rich archival heritage and the fun and learning it can bring. What are you waiting for….?

AfL practicals: how-to sessions for archive practitioners & users

Carrying out a collections review

The first of our new AfL practicals sessions will help delegates really understand how to assess collections with archives, and build foundations for robust, strategic plans for their future.

Using the learning and insight from the Royal College of Surgeons recently completed collections review, delegates will be guided in practical exercises to carry out a review of archive, library and museum material and will leave with skills and confidence to carrying out collections reviews and build their own collections management plans.

The AfL practical will be led by Beth Astridge. An archivist with over 15 years’ experience working in the archives, heritage and information sectors, Beth has recently led the large, complex and pioneering pan-domain collections review at Royal College of Surgeons, funded by Arts Council England.

Members £10, Non-members £20.
Book online via EventBrite.
Booking for non-members opens 22 March 2016.

Download the AfL practical notice.

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