Archives and local studies

Local studies material such as photographs, maps, local newspapers, church and school magazines and local history reference books are all available to view without making a booking. To view archive material, please make an appointment - places are limited.

Please note:
Staff will not be able to produce archives on the following dates: 19, 25, 26 June & 2, 3 July
Volunteers will be on hand these days to provide enquirers with Local Studies advice.

Where to find us

The archives and local studies service is now based at Hammersmith Library, Shepherds Bush Road.

About our archives

We hold the archives and local history collections for Hammersmith & Fulham, including documents, books, maps, photographs and paintings, old newspapers and other sources for family and house history. These records come from the council and its predecessor bodies, local institutions such as hospitals, churches and schools, and from members of the local community.

Are you interested in tracing your family history or house history, or looking at how your neighbourhood has changed over the years? Maybe you want to learn more about notable local residents or local pottery works? Whatever your interests, staff and volunteers will be happy to assist your research, either in person or through email.

You can view local studies material during library opening hours. To view specialist archives, please book an appointment in advance. We welcome school visits by prior arrangement, and offer talks about our archives to community groups.

Volunteering at the archives is a great way to help people to explore the borough’s history, meet like-minded enthusiasts, and work closely with the archivist. Contact us below to discuss current opportunities.

The archivist is present on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am to 5pm. Please see below for contact details.

A full list of current archive holdings (pdf)

Borough history

The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham comprises the former Metropolitan boroughs of Fulham and Hammersmith. Both were in the county of Middlesex before 1889 and in the county of London from 1889 to 1965.

Although Hammersmith was part of the ancient parish of Fulham until 1834, Hammersmith vestry was responsible for the administration of the Hammersmith part of the parish from the early 17th century. The Fulham District Board of Works was created in 1855 and covered both Fulham and Hammersmith parishes until it was abolished in 1886.

From 1837 to 1845 the parishes of Fulham and Hammersmith were part of the Kensington Poor Law Union. In 1845 the two parishes united to form the Fulham Union. This was dissolved in 1899 and the parishes became the separate unions of Fulham and Hammersmith until 1930. In 1992 the holdings of the Archives Department at Shepherds Bush Library, the Fulham Local Collection at Fulham Library and the Hammersmith Local Collection at Hammersmith Library were amalgamated into the current Hammersmith & Fulham Archive and Local Studies Collection.

Contact details and opening hours

020 8753 3850

Opening hours:
Monday and Tuesday, 10am to 5pm.

Before visiting to view archives, please contact in advance. Local studies material is available on the open shelves and is accessible during the library's opening hours; an appointment is not necessary.

1st floor, Hammersmith Library
Shepherds Bush Road
W6 7AT

Underground: Hammersmith Broadway station

Buses: 9, 10, 27, 190, 220, 267, 283, 295, 391, H91

Accessibility:  Disabled access via lift

Copying facilities: Some documents cannot be photocopied for preservation reasons. It is advisable to bring your own digital camera when visiting. Self-service photography permits are available and cost £5 per day. We can accept cash only for payment.

Reading room rules: No bags, no pens and no food or drink

Information regarding changes to the location of collections

Useful links

H&F - the Heart of Europe