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Local History Collections

Rate books for the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury, 1950s

The list below provides a brief overview of our collections and includes links to more detailed information leaflets about some material. More leaflets will be added to this page in future months.

Books: we hold a large collection of books about the history of Islington and aspects of local life.

Maps: local maps from the 1700s onwards, including large-scale Ordnance Survey maps from the 1870s onwards.

Illustrations: photographs, paintings, drawings and engravings of local scenes, places, people and events.

Newspapers, periodicals and cuttings: local newspapers, church and business magazines from the 19th century onwards, including the 'Islington Gazette' on microfilm from 1856 to date. Also a large collection of cuttings on Islington related topics from newspapers, journals and books.

Pamphlets and ephemera: a wide range of documents including leaflets, handbills, trade cards, programmes and playbills, commercial receipts and invoices and advertisements.

Electoral registers: registers for the area now covered by the London Borough of Islington from 1873 to date.

Street and trade directories: directories are available from the early 19th century onwards, listing businesses and some residents’ details.

Census returns: microfilm copies of the Finsbury and Islington census areas from 1841 to 1901 at ten-year intervals.

Workhouse records: 18th and 19th century Clerkenwell Workhouse settlement examination books. Also, 19th century admission and discharge books, indoor and outdoor relief books and other selected records for Clerkenwell.

Parish registers: microfilm copies of baptism, marriage and burial registers for St Mary Islington parish (16th to late 19th centuries). Also printed copies of St James Clerkenwell parish registers from 1551 to 1754.

Local authority records: records of the vestries of St James Clerkenwell, St Luke Old Street and St Mary Islington, including minute books and rate books. Records of the metropolitan boroughs of Finsbury and Islington, including council and committee minutes, rate books and publications. Other material including records related to various local baths, including Ironmonger Row baths.

First World War resources: a small amount of material including photographs and books.

Second World War resources: civil defence records for the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury, plus bomb damage photographs and maps, newspaper cuttings and books.