Archives and local history

We collect, preserve and provide access to records that contribute to Hackney’s socio-economic and cultural identity to help everyone understand Hackney’s past and present.

We’re the official repository for the historic records of the London Borough of Hackney and its predecessors, including minutes and reports. Our reference collections support research into Hackney, Stoke Newington and Shoreditch, providing contextual information about the local area and its residents.

Our collections – 600 years of history

We are always adding to our collections. Our oldest record dates from 1356, whilst our newest are from 2014. All records are connected to the areas of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington.

Before you visit

Make sure you get the most from your visit by reading our tips to help plan your day. You’ll need to order unique records in advance of your visit.

User support and enquiries

We offer advice on how best to access the vast and complex collections at Hackney Archives. Please contact the team with your questions including as much information as possible. This enquiry service is free of charge, but does not include extensive research.

Searching online

To search our Archives catalogue, please use the National Archives, limit your search to ‘Other archives’ in the ‘Held by’ section, then enter ‘Hackney Archives department’.

To search the Local Studies Library, please use Advanced search and limit your search to ‘Library catalogue’.

  • Ancestry (library edition) (access available in Archives search room or Hackney libraries only)
  • London Screen Archives includes films from Hackney Archives (search Hackney). Some films are available to view
  • search our historic images – we have a large collection of photographs available to view in the search room; a sample of which are available to view online. If you can’t find the image you are looking for, please contact us

Friends of Hackney Archives

The Friends of Hackney Archives is a membership charity that supports the work of Hackney Archives. They provide practical support when needed, express the views of users to the Council and administer a donations fund to purchase and conserve collections.

Subscribe to our mailing list

We organise exhibitions, talks and events throughout the year to help you discover more about this borough’s heritage. Add your email address below if you’d like to receive updates about what’s on at Hackney Archives and Hackney Museum

Page updated on: 9 January 2020

Hackney Archives


Dalston CLR James Library
Dalston Square
E8 3BQ


Opening times

  • Tue to Wed 10am - 6pm
  • Thur 10am - 7.30pm
  • Sat 12:30pm - 5pm
  • Closed Mon, Fri and Sun