Guildhall Library

Specialising in the history of London, Guildhall Library has over 200000 printed titles dating from the 15th to the 21st centuries.  These include books, pamphlets, periodicals, trade directories and poll books.  All aspects of life in London, including its trade, people and buildings are covered by this material.

They also have special collections related to Samuel Pepys, John Wilkes and Thomas More.

Whether you are studying your family history, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment, tracing the history of a house or researching more about the history of your local area, you will find the documents held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Contact Information for the Guildhall Library

Address:

Guildhall Library 
Aldermanbury 
London 
EC2V 7HH 

Telephone Numbers:

020 73321868 
020 73321870 

E-Mail:

guildhall.library@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Collections

For details of the Library's collections please visit their Home Page and peruse their online catalogue.  Items held by the Libraries are listed and it tells you where items can be located and if they are available for loan. Their collections also include:

  • Apprenticeship records
  • Biographical and genealogical sources
  • Boyd's Marriage Index
  • Business Records
  • Census returns
  • Directories
  • London directories
  • Occupational listings
  • Old Bailey sessions papers
  • Parliamentary Records
  • Telephone books
  • Trade Directories

Manuscripts that can be consulted in the Library include:

  • City of London Livery Company Archives (and some associated collections
  • Lloyd's of London Archives and Printed Collections (Except the Lloyd's Captain's Registers, held at the London Metropolitan Archives
  • The Stock Exchange Archives and Printed Collections

Newspapers held by the Archive include:

  • City Press 1857-1976
  • The Times (1785 to date)
  • The Financial Times (1888 to date)
  • Evening Standard 1977-1980, 1994 to date
  • London Gazette 1665 to date
  • The Graphic 1869-1931
  • Daily Graphic 1890-1919
  • Lloyd's Evening Post and British Chronicle 1757-1808
  • London Chronicle 1757-1823
  • St James Chronicle 1761-1836

Some resources are held offsite, which include Voyage Record Cards and some Stock Exchange records material, so must be ordered in advance.

Location and Directions


The nearest London Underground stations are:

Underground line Station and exit info
Central Bank (exit 9) St Paul's
District Mansion House (Bow Lane exit)
Circle Mansion House (Bow Lane exit) Moorgate
Northern Moorgate Bank (exit 9)
Metropolitan Moorgate
Hammersmith Moorgate

Bus routes 242, 5, 8 and 501 (to Cheapside), 11, 15, 23 and 26 (to Queen Victoria Street), 43, 76, 133, 141, 214, 271 (to Moorgate), 172 (to London Wall) all serve the Library.  

The closest railway stations are Moorgate (not wheelchair accessible), Liverpool Street (wheelchair accessible), Fenchurch Street, Cannon Street, Blackfriars and City Thames Link.

Car parks are available at London Wall (24 hours), Barbican (8am - midnight) and Aldersgate (24 hours).

Opening Hours

Information regarding their opening hours is also available.

Booking

You are able to order documents in advance, but the Library requires 24 hours notice.  You can however wait until you arrive at the Library and order the documents using their request slip.  You are not required to book a microfilm or microfiche reader; these are allocated on a first-come, first served basis.

Accessibility

The building is fully accessible to disabled visitors.  Facilities for disabled visitors is located in the Guildhall Complex, situated in the West Wing.  Unfortunately the blue badge scheme does not operate in the city because parking spaces are at a premium, but the Office does offer parking in the Square Mile for disabled people.  

Over 200 parking spaces are available for blue badge holders, but time is limited to 4 hours on a weekday.  There are no restrictions at the weekends.

Guide dogs are welcome in the Library and a computer workstation is fitted with screen magnification and text to speech software, along with an electronic magnifier.

A hearing induction loop is in operation in the Library.

Computers and Wi-Fi

You are able to use the Library's computers to obtain free access to the internet and Microsoft Office.

You are able to print in colour and black and white on payment of a small fee to the Library.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Library, and you are welcome to use your own laptops and other mobile devices.

Shop

Many publications and other resources are available for sale in their shop, which include:

  • Books as History
  • City of London - A Companion Guide
  • City of London Book - A-Z Guide
  • City of London Past
  • Historic Trade Directories - Handlist of directories held by the Library
  • Lloyds Marine Collection - guide to the collection and related marine sources held at the Library
  • Postcards - set of 16 Postcards showing images from the Library's collections

Tours

You are also able to book a tour of the Library, and have the opportunity to view some of the items in their vast collections.  Some of the items you may be able to view include London Gazette 1666, Bills of Mortality 1665 and William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello: The Moore of Venice 1655.

Twitter and Facebook Accounts

The Library has a Twitter Account, @GuildhallLib, where they post information about their events and family history and local history related news.

The Library has a Facebook page, @GuildhallLibrary, where they post details regarding events, talks and local history and family history related news.  They also answer visitors' queries.

Readers' Tickets

You do not need to become a member or to register to use the Library, nor do you have to make an appointment, but you are required to bring some identification with you if you wish to peruse rarer manuscripts and items held by the Library. Manuscripts consulted at the Library can also be located in the London Metropolitan Archives online catalogue.



Further information about London Record Offices can be found by going to my pages regarding City of Westminster Archives Centre and London Metropolitan Archives.



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