Welcome to Hackney History. We encourage and support interest in Hackney’s fascinating past, particularly through the use of Hackney’s 700 years of Archives. Hackney’s history is extensive and varied. It has been home to the poor and rich, and many notable figures, from politics, science, and religion. A wealth of migrants have passed through and contributed to the modern borough, and there are many stories to be discovered. Notable businesses were formed here, and pioneering technological developments, particularly in the Lea Valley. Hackney also saw groundbreaking experiments in public services, especially schools and hospitals, and gives an insight into the growth of the modern state.
Hackney Archives is the ideal place to find out about the individuals, families, communities, organisations, buildings and neighbourhoods that have shaped local history. We, the Friends of Hackney Archives, are keen to encourage people to use the Archives, whatever their interest. Money raised by the Friends has helped to buy new material and to conserve books, manuscripts, playscripts, maps and plans, visual material, and two important collections of theatre posters. We can keep you in touch with developments in the Archives, and with new research and acquisitions.
Your support will help promote Hackney Archives and its wide-ranging collections; build the collections; and increase awareness of Hackney’s history, of peoples and places.
Friends receive the newsletter The Hackney Terrier three times a year, and the occasional journal, Hackney History. We also hold regular meetings, talks and events which are free to Friends.
A list of the Friends’ publications can be viewed here…
To become a Friend costs £15.00 per calendar year in the UK; £30.00 overseas; £3.00 for each additional member at the same address (one mailing sent per address).
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Hackney Archives holds a wealth of administrative, business, institutional and family records concerning Hackney, Stoke Newington and Shoreditch. It houses the records of Hackney council and its predecessors, and much historic material about Hackney and other areas in collections with an east London focus. Its oldest document is a 14th century deed from the City of London.
The collection also holds –
• more than 700 metres of archives and local studies material
• more than 20,000 pictures, many now digitised for viewing
• local newspapers back to 1857, searchable on microfilm
• burial registers for Abney Park Cemetery
• the records of more than 30 local businesses
• the records of more than 60 local institutions and papers from more than 65 local families, estates and individuals
• more than 10,000 printed books and pamphlets, including special collections concerning Daniel Defoe, early sermons, and non-conformity in Stoke Newington
• copies of local census returns, directories, and maps
Direct Links as of end of December 2018: