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Port of London Authority Archive at Museum of London Docklands


Historical Context for Family History Research for London Docklands:the old site of the Port of London Authority is next to Smithfield Market. The archive is in the safe hands of this useful museum.

The archive consists of a unique perspective on what was the most important port in the world,  the role of the Port of London was pivotal to the development of London as a commercial ,financial and maritime success which exploited the Thames and the unique links east and west across the south of England.

The canal system was a conduit from the port to the industrial north and the history of both is key to not only the development of London but the Industrial Revolution.


Type of Resource: museum, archive, online catalogs, artefacts,objects,documents:  the museum holds an extensive archive for the POL as they state:

  • 10,000 books and pamphlets
  • 50,000 plans and engineering drawings
  • 500 maps
  • 40,000 historic photographs
  • 4000  historic glass slides
  • 5000 paintings, drawings and prints (framed and unframed)
  • 350 film reels
  • 2500ft run of primary and secondary archive
  • The Minute Books of the Corporation of London’s River Committee 1770-1857)
  • Minute books and archives of the Thames Conservancy (1857-1909)
  • Minute Books and Archives of the private dock companies
  • Comprehensive records of the Port of London Authority.

Here is a blog post from the museum team so you can see how extensive the cataloguing alone is

Map of Location and other resources:


Links and resources

Intriguing Connections for family historians

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