These are the building blocks of history, for they are documents which were created by individuals and groups at the time of events or shortly afterwards. They are also unique and unpublished. Archives held date from the late seventeenth century to the early twenty fist century. Many of them are minute books from the various councils that have operated in the borough since the nineteenth century. There are also archives of local churches, especially Methodist churches, clubs and societies, as well as individuals, such as the correspondence of an Acton MP and diaries of several residents in the twentieth century.
We have a large collection of books relating to Ealing’s history, dating from the nineteenth century onwards. These include books specifically relating to the different districts of the borough, but also books dealing with London and Middlesex, transport and other wider issues. Some books cover buildings and personalities, traumatic events such as riots and wars.
These books dated from 1824-1975 and from 1889 were published almost annually except for 1941-1948. They list businesses, heads of household and organisations which existed in the borough. There are also local telephone directories from 1958.
These date from 1890 and list those eligible to vote by address. Those from 2002 can only be viewed by request and under supervision. They cannot be electronically copied.
Both Ancestry and Times online are sites which the library has a subscription to and can be viewed free of charge from library computers. These give valuable information about people and events of the past.
There is a large collection of periodicals, which have been regularly published by organisations. They provide useful information about the organisation in question. Those within the collection include parish magazines, some school magazines and magazines produced by businesses.
Our collection of local newspapers date from 1854. They include The Middlesex County Times, now The Ealing Gazette, from 1866, The Acton Gazette, 1871-1988 and The Southall-Norwood Gazette (and successor titles) from 1894. There are indexes to some of these newspapers.
Local maps from the eighteen century onwards include parish and tithe maps, Ordnance Survey maps and the maps of shopping streets from 1967, can be found here.
We have a large collection of photographs of places, people, events and objects relating to the borough’s history, dating from the nineteenth century onwards.