BBC Essex – Winning Endeavours

Are you in Essex? Would you like to find out more about Archives for London and the Winning Endeavours Project?

Tune into the Steve Scruton Show on BBC Essex (95.3 FM) next Thursday 21st June at 3.30 p.m to hear Jenny Butler talking more about the project and how you can get involved!

Visit our Winning Endeavours page and to find out more!

Winning Endeavours Quiz

Archives for London has compiled a Winning Endeavours Quiz' using the school pack resources available on the Resources Page of

Work out whether the 10 statements about the Olympics and Paralympics in London and the South East are true or false. Find the answers on!

Try your hand at the quiz here!

Archives for London Conference 2012

Some Tales of One City: Charles Dickens and London

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.  Arguably the greatest writer of the Victorian era, Dicken’s works remain as popular today as they were in his lifetime. At the heart of most of his work is the Great Wen – London, in all its guises.

In celebration of the bicentenary, Archives for London, the Dickens Museum and the Centre for Metropolitan History are holding a one-day conference which will explore Dicken’s relationship with London and the ways in which life in the capital influenced and shaped his life, his work and his social conscience.

For more information and to book your place, please visit our conference page

Organiser(s):  Archives for London, Centre for Metropolitan History, Dickens Museum

Event Location: 
Chancellor's Hall, Senate House
Malet Street
United Kingdom
Registration and Cost
Registrations close on 4th October 2012 and the fee is £45 to include refreshments, lunch and an evening wine reception.

Seminar Report – The Scout Association Archive

The January 2012 seminar was given by Daniel Scott-Davies, Archive Manager for the Scout Association. 

Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouts, was also a hero of the relief of Mafeking (1899).  He published Scouting for Boys in 1908, and to some extent the scout movement dates from that.  In the beginning girls wanted to join, so very soon a separate Girl Guides movement was formed: today the two operate together. Daniel’s talk suggest that from there things snow-balled. 

Almost from the beginning there was a branch of SeaScouts. Wolf cubs for younger boys soon followed, and the scouts played a valuable role on the home frontduring World War 1, doing jobs as messengers and organising recreation: a 16-year old scout was awarded the V.C. Towards the end of that war a senior section was formed for boys over 18 who wanted to continue their involvement. Gilwell Park in east London became a base for the scouts around this time: it continues in use to this day, having become the scout headquarters in 2001. Gang shows started in the 1930s and ran until1974.  The scouts made a contribution in WW2 as they had in WW1, and the scout ‘bob-a-job’ week started in 1949, to continue until 1970, after which of course the shilling vanished from our currency. 

The scouting movement has a great record of helping: it has helped victims of the Chernobyl disaster, and has sponsored a lifeboat at Hartlepool. 

The scouting movement  started a retail branch which they sold to Blacks in 2006 (and Blacks has recently been a victim of the recession, having been sold to J–D sports). 

Daniel also talked about the link with Scott of the Antarctic. The ship Discovery was built in 1900, and was used by Scott in 1901 in a successful mission of research and exploration.  It became the ship of the Sea Scouts, and can still be seen today in Dundee, where it was built. All in all a very wide-ranging talk. 

Web sites:  for everything you want to know about the history of the scouts; has a number of scouting film clips.  

For Gilwell  Park see wikipedia at

The seminar was very poorly attended, with only 13 members: there was a raffle with gifts donated by Andrea Tanner, to whom our thanks, so if you did not attend you missed a good chance of a prize. 

Seminar Report – Medieval Records of the City of London

On 10 November 2011, Caroline Barron, renowned medieval historian, gave a talk that focused on a series of 15th century journals of the Court of Common Council held at the old Guildhall Record Office that she used while undertaking a PhD in the 1960s. Caroline gave the talk a strong personal element, reminiscing about her time as a student and of her earliest experiences of visiting an archives search room. She recalled with humour her horror at being initially unable to read the handwriting of the journals and her pretence to the archivist that she could!  

Palaeography was a prominent factor in Caroline’s talk, and she handed round copies from the microfiches of the journals. The hand was indeed difficult to interpret, but with Caroline’s explanations it soon became clear that the documents contained a fascinating insight into medieval London. The journals were used to record the activities undertaken by the Court, so there were pages recording the elections of aldermen and mayors, lists of members of the Common Council and oaths given by the Bailiff of Southwark, for example. The clerks also used the journals to make rough notes, such as drafting a welcome speech to the visiting Queen Marie of Anjou in 1445. Overall Caroline gave a fascinating introduction to the jostling, vibrant world of 15th century London, where men selling rotten pies were ordered to stand in the pillory with the pies around their necks, and attendees at Court threw fruity insults at each other. 

Seminar Report – Oral History at the British Library

On 6 October 2011, Mary Stewart and Elspeth Millar from the British Library Sound Archive gave an engaging and enlightening talk about the oral history collections at the British Library (BL). Oral history is ‘the oldest and newest form of history’; from earliest times histories were passed down from generation to generation through the telling of stories. The introduction of the printed book largely did away with this tradition but by the 20th century, a growing interest in social history and ‘history from the bottom up’, coupled with the rapid development of recording technologies led to a resurgence in interest in oral history and the stories of ‘normal’ people. The BL seeks to continue this interest and aims to provide an oral history of the nation by actively collecting recordings from people of all areas of British life.

The BL currently have over 350 oral history collections and this is growing due to their on-going collection strategy. The cataloguing of oral histories relies on existing archival cataloguing standards, with emphasis on ‘descriptive’ and ‘administrative’ information, but thought is also given to the format of the recording, and who owns the rights to the information contained in the record. Some histories have restricted access due to the personal information contained within them but overall the BL aims to make these most downto-earth of historical records as accessible as possible. 

Access can be made on-site at the BL, or online via the BL Sounds website:

Explore London’s Olympic history with Winning Endeavours

With only 150 days to go to the 2012 London Olympics, the Winning Endeavours website shares exciting new resources for schools and families, brought to life by images of historical documents, photographs and newspaper articles showing London?s Olympic past.

Since the launch of the Winning Endeavours website in April 2011, three exciting new school resource packs have been developed. The school packs can be downloaded from the website, and contain teacher?s notes, ideas for class and individual activities, and students? source sheets, and include many images of archival documents, photographs and newspaper articles. These resources are aimed at Key Stages 2 and 3 Citizenship but are ideal for families to explore.

Read the full press release and visit to find out more!

Please note that from December 2012 will only be available through the UK Web Archive following the cessation of the project.

Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 24-26 February 2012, Olympia

Archives for London will be at WDYTYA? Live, the biggest family history show in the world. 

We’ll be representing our user and practitioner members and showcasing our unique mix of seminars, behind the scenes visits, conference, communications and advocacy work that helps more people get more out of London’s fascinating documentary heritage.

Family history is often people’s first journey into archives and AfL can make research in London more rewarding and fun! 

Come and say hello at WDYTYA? Live stands 89-90.

AfL Members Invitation – ARA London Region Meeting

Notice of ARA London Region Meeting & Reception for new UCL ARM students

Archaeology Lecture Theatre, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, on Thursday, 13 October 2011

General Programme

6:15 PM          Arrivals

6:30 PM          Business Meeting

7:00 PM          Talks on the theme of Crime, Records and Archives

7:45 PM       ?   Discussion and Questions

8:00 PM          Reception for new UCL ARM students, Student Common Room, Foster Court. (All welcome.)

The Archaeology Lecture Theatre is at reference E3 on the map at:

(Nearest Tube stations: Euston Square, Russell Square or Warren Street.)


If you would like to RSVP or send apologies, please email Patricia.dark [at] with your name and organisation (if applicable).??

Closure and revised opening hours at LMA

Stocktaking Closure

LMA will be closed to the public from 4.45pm on Friday 28 October and will re-open at 9.30am on Monday 14 November 2011.


Revised opening hours for London Metropolitan Archives

From Monday 14 November 2011 there will be changes to weekday openings at LMA.

LMA will close on Fridays, but there will be an extra late night opening on Wednesdays (as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays) until 7.30 pm.

The new opening times are:-

Monday  9:30am – 4:45pm
Tuesday 9:30am – 7:30pm
Wednesday       9:30am – 7:30pm
Thursday        9:30am – 7:30pm
Friday  CLOSED 

For Saturday openings please check the website

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