History of the local history and archives centre

In 1902 the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham opened a library in the Manor House, Lee, and in 1960 the Archives and local history department was set up in the same building. Since 1965 it has served the whole of the London Borough of Lewisham (the Deptford local history collection from Deptford Reference Library having been transferred to it).

The name was changed to the Local History Centre in 1985. In October 1994 the centre moved to the new Lewisham Library and changed its name to the Local Studies and Archives centre. The centre is recognised as a place of deposit for public, diocesan, manorial and tithe records.

In 1966 the borough purchased the substantial collection of the antiquarian L.A.J. Baker, which included books, pamphlets, postcards, photographs and news cuttings.

The centre has custody of the borough's museum collection, awaiting the establishment of a Lewisham museum. We also hold the borough art collection. Some of the paintings can be viewed on the Your Paintings website and on our Lewisham Heritage Picasa site. Some of the collection is held in an out-store and can only be consulted by prior arrangement.

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