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Local Studies Library and Archive

Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP - Getting here

Phone: 020 8734 3309

Know your place heritage festival

Throughout September, we invite you to delve deeper into the fascinating history of Richmond upon Thames through the annual Know Your Place Festival.

Online resources

Visiting the library

View the opening hours below for the Local Studies Library.

Temporarily reduced service

The Local Studies Library and Archive is undergoing major works to protect the borough's archived materials through the installation of a new climate control system.

Precious archive materials have been removed from the area where the works are taking place and secured safely to allow for the removal of the old climate control system.

The Local Studies Library and Archive will operate with a reduced service for the next few weeks while the new climate control system is fitted as some materials will be inaccessible for a period.

Please contact Local Studies by email or phone on 020 8734 3309 for further information.

Opening hours

Local Studies is open for drop-ins at the following times:

  • Tuesday from 1.30 to 6pm
  • Wednesday from 1.30 to 6pm
  • Thursday from 1.30 to 6pm
  • Friday from 1.30 to 6pm
  • Alternate Saturdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 4pm

It is possible to visit on a Tuesday to Friday morning by appointment. If you would like to make a morning appointment, contact Local Studies by:

Wednesday to Friday morning appointments must be made at least one day in advance. Tuesday morning appointments must be made on the preceding Friday at the latest. If your appointment has not been confirmed by staff, it will not be possible for you to visit that morning.

View how to make the most of your visit to the Local Studies Library and Archive

About the collection

The Local Studies Collection provides access to material relating to the history of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It contains the collections previously held by the former boroughs of Barnes, Richmond and Twickenham.

Lockdown diaries

Local Studies is putting out a call for diaries written by residents in this unusual time.

Online catalogue

With our new online catalogue you can search thousands of records from the archives of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, covering Barnes, East Sheen, Ham, Hampton, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick, Kew, Mortlake, Petersham, Richmond, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton.

Cataloguing work is ongoing, and we are regularly updating the database. If you cannot find what you are looking for you can contact us.

The catalogue includes a large collection of building plans which have been catalogued and scanned with funding provided by HLF.

Online resources

The Local Studies team publishes some of its local history notes about people and places in the borough online. There is also a set of illustrated timelines.

Amongst our online reference services, Richmond Libraries also has a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition, the leading family history website. Please note that this can only be used on library premises.

Film collections

Most of the borough's moving image collections are looked after by London's Screen Archives, and many of the films can be watched online. Search and view the film collections.

Education resources

From our Local Studies Collection, take a walk down Hill Street, a study of Victorian Richmond upon Thames.

Genealogy and family history

Many people are interested in their family history. There are several places where you can find out information, and there are many useful links to external websites.

Miles Better health walks

Put your best foot forward and learn more about the history of Richmond upon Thames with our fascinating health walks.

Updated: 30 August 2022

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