Archives are usually a tangible connection to the past and a record of history and therefore an important instrument for building knowledge and conducting research. Archives for London is an organisation, which provides information regarding all the archive collections in London; there is a vast collection of resources available on their website.
The National Archives
The National Archives is located in Kew and houses a vast number of documents which contain information relating to the British population and British history over the last 1000 years. The National Archives is the official collection of Government information. The archives are free to visit and are open most days.
Many museums have their own collection of archives which will include information relevant to their organisation; you can usually arrange to visit most archives by contacting the relevant staff; details can be found online or in a local telephone directory. Museum archives are usually very helpful for research projects; most archive staff are more than willing to help with any relevant research questions but you should contact them in advance to allow then time to locate the relevant information.
Local Council Archives
Many local Councils have their own archive collections, which may provide information on the local population. Usually these archives are open to the public but it is advisable to contact the relevant office before you visit. Archives can be helpful in locating relatives or friends and can help to trace family history.