Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library

Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library service is housed at Vestry House Museum. We offer a wide range of manuscript, printed and pictorial resources for research into the history of the Waltham Forest area and its communities.

We can help if you want to research

  • your family history
  • the history of your house or street
  • development of the local area
  • subjects for a school project or for academic research


Primary sources for the history of our local community 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

Printed sources available in our Searchroom include

  • local newspapers
  • trade directories
  • electoral registers which are more than 10 years old
  • Council minutes and reports up to 2007
  • Ordnance Survey and other maps
  • secondary sources including biographies, histories of organisations, pamphlets and ephemera

Lists of ephemera files held in the Local Studies Library can be viewed below. Please note that these lists are incomplete and that some files may contain limited information.

Business and Industry

Access and appointments

Research visits are by prior appointment only at these times:

Alternate Wednesdays 10.30am-12.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm

Thursday to Saturday 10.30am-12.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm

Please contact us to book your appointment, giving some information about your research topic.

The Searchroom is up one flight of stairs and there is no lift. When booking your visit please let us know if you require a fully accessible ground floor room.


Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library,
Vestry House Museum, Vestry Road, Walthamstow E17 9NH 

Email: wfa.enquiries@walthamforest.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8496 4391