Archives and Local Studies Library

Vestry House Museum is also home to Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library.

We are pleased to be welcoming visitors to our Searchroom again from June. Visits are by prior appointment for half days only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For information about appointment availability and our COVID-19 safety measures please email

We can help you if you are interested in researching the following:

  • Your family history
  • The history of your house or street
  • The development of the local area and local communities
  • Subjects for a school project or for academic research

We hold on one site a wide range of manuscript, printed and pictorial resources for research into all aspects of the history of the Waltham Forest.


We hold wide-ranging primary sources for the history of our local community.

These include records of:

  • Anglican parishes since 1575 (including parish registers)
  • Chingford Mount Cemetery
  • Local authorities
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Properties and historic buildings
  • Businesses
  • Clubs and societies

Local Studies Library

The range of printed sources available in our searchroom includes:

  • Local newspapers
  • Trade directories
  • Electoral registers
  • Council minutes and reports
  • Ordnance Survey and other maps
  • Secondary sources including biographies, histories of organisations, pamphlets and ephemera

Subject lists of secondary sources held in the Local Studies Library can be viewed below. Please note these lists are a work in progress and some files contain limited information.

Business and Industry


Searchroom access is by appointment only.
Telephone: 020 8496 4391

Opening times: Thursday to Saturday by prior appointment.