Local History Library
Walworth Town Hall fire
Due to the fire in the Old Town Hall, we are unable to retrieve any reserve stock reference books and/or off-site archival material until further notice.
We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, and thank you for your understanding.
Where to find us
The Local History Library is located at 211 Borough High Street at the rear of the John Harvard public library space.
History of Southwark
Southwark's range of historical experience is a story vividly told through surviving historical documents. We have gathered these documents and other historical sources at Southwark Local History Library. The library also holds information on changes in Southwark today.
Growing Up in Southwark project
Young people from the Cuming Museum Youth Panel have been inspired by historic films from the collection at Southwark Local History Library and Archive. They received a Young Roots grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to make three short films in 2013 on the theme of Growing Up in Southwark.
How to use the Local History Library and Archive shows young people how they can use these fascinating resources for their own personal research.
The historic films in Southwark's archive provided the starting point for the Youth Panel to explore what they wanted to say about their own experiences of growing up in Southwark. The Youth Panel recruited 15 young people from local youth clubs and schools to work with them on the next 2 film productions.
Community Life uses the Brandon Estate Cine Club films from the 1960s and 1970s and interviews with the first residents on the estate to explore what community means to us today.
Passport to the Future questions whether our education system prepares young people for life. It features archive film footage from 'St Olave's of Horselydown' and a broad range of contributors, including Lord Harris of Peckham.
The films are touring Southwark’s libraries from October to December and a series of screenings and events hosted by the young participants will take place in local schools and youth clubs.
During the Growing up in Southwark project the Youth Panel members completed their Silver Arts Awards and our 15 new recruits completed their Bronze Arts Awards.
The films will also become part of Southwark's film archive and a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.
Local History Library resources
- Copies of most printed books on the history of the area
- Pamphlets and periodicals produced by local organisations
- An extensive run of directories
- On microfilm, local newspapers from 1856 to the present
- Press cuttings and ephemera
- Videos, tapes and CD roms
- Family history