Changes to the library service due to coronavirus

Libraries across H&F will reopen on 12 April. Our 'Out of Hours' return boxes are in operation while we are closed.

Please see the library service update page for more information about changes to our library service.

Find out about library events and activities you can join online.

Local studies and archives

From the 12 April 2021, the Local Studies & Archives search room will be open on Mondays and Tuedays from 10am-1pm, 2pm-4.30pm by appointment only.

Are you interested in tracing your family history, house history or researching the changes in your local area over the years? Maybe you want to learn more about notable local residents or local businesses? Whatever your interests, the staff and volunteers will be happy to assist your research, either in person or via post or email.

The Hammersmith & Fulham Local Studies and Archives Centre holds the archives and local history collections for the borough, including documents, books, maps, photographs, old newspapers and other sources for family and local history. These records come from the council and its predecessor bodies, local institutions such as churches and schools, local businesses, local organisations and individuals.

H&F archives catalogue

The Hammersmith & Fulham archives catalogue is now online.

Visitor information and contact details

The local studies & archives service is currently closed.

From the 12 April 2021, the Local Studies & Archives search room will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm by appointment only.

Please contact the archivist during opening hours to arrange a visit.

Access to the archives must be booked at least a week in advance. 

1st Floor, Hammersmith Library
Shepherds Bush Road
London W6 7AT

020 8753 3850 (Monday and Tuesday)

Directions: Hammersmith Underground Station (District and Piccadilly lines) is the nearest station.  Buses 9, 10, 27, 190, 220, 267, 283, 295, 391, H91

Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday, 10am - 5pm

Facilities: Disabled access via lift; toilets (including disabled); free wifi; sockets for laptops; Microform reader printers; lockers (please bring a £1 coin with you); photocopier. Postcards and local history publications for sale.

Copying: Archive documents and photographs may be photographed (no flash) by purchasing a One Day Photographic Permit for £5 and signing a copyright declaration. Books and pamphlets may be photocopied.

Booking archives: If booking archives please do so at least one week in advance by emailing, telephoning 020 8753 3850 (on Monday and Tuesday) or by writing to the address above, before 3pm on the Tuesday before date required at the latest.

Reading room rules: We ask that bags are placed in lockers provided (£1 coin returnable); that readers use pencils only and no food or drink is brought into the reading room.

Volunteering at the archives: Have you an interest in the local history of Hammersmith & Fulham? This 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 to discuss current opportunities.

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.