City of London Over the Years

London-1930-flowersCollage is one of London’s finest picture archives managed by London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), it provides free online access to over 250,000 images of London, England from the collections at LMA and Guildhall Art Gallery. These 250,000 photographs, prints and drawings as well as over 1,000 maps from the collections at LMA are available to view online. The images provide an extraordinary record of London and its people from the 1400s to the present day. The whole of Greater London is covered, as are the adjoining counties. Some of the many highlights include photographs of Victorian London; the sixteenth century ‘Agas’ map of London; Hollar’s stunning panorama from 1647; beautifully designed twentieth century posters for London’s tramways; the Cross and Tibbs photographs of Second World War damage to the City of London.

London-knife grinder-1840Some of the categories include: London, England in black and white images, the First World War, the Great Fire of London, the Tower Bridge, landmarks of London and photos of London during the Victorian Era. If you had ancestors living in London during any of the major historic periods, you will want to review the images, illustrations and maps available. This is the type of material that can really add heart and interest to your family history.

Use the search box at the top or go to the advance search section. Scroll down on the homepage and you can also search using a map or typing in the name of a London street name. Scrolling further down and there are topics to select from, some you may not of thought to check. There are royal events, law & crime, recreational activities, and occupations such as street vendors.

London-Romilly Street, Westminster LBAs you locate an illustration, drawing or photo you can click on it to enlarge it and read the details of the date and location.

You will be amazed at the vast collection online and there are many thousands more to be done in the future.

Photos: 1930 Flower seller in Piccadilly Circus; 1840 knife grinder with his machine; and 1976 Romilly Street, Westminster LB: Cambridge Circus.

Related genealogy blogs:

City of London Archives

Surnames of London 1841-1901

Records to View about London


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