What is an archive?

(1) A record of significant historical interest

(2) A collection or repository of records of significant historical interest


Archives traditionally include personal and organisational papers (for example, diaries, correspondence, photographs, minutes, reports) although they are increasingly digital. Archives tend to be unique, as they are created by an individual in the course of their activity or business. Archives are historically significant if they provide evidence of an important decision, action or activity.


What is a catalogue?

A catalogue is a database containing descriptions about the archives that we hold. You can search the catalogue to look for things of interest to you.


Why does the catalogue not include the library?

Archives and libraries are different types of collections that require different methods of description, and normally different types of cataloguing software. The books in the Heritage collections can be accessed through the main library catalogue at: http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/libraries/


Why can’t I see images of the documents in the catalogue?

The catalogue only contains descriptions for the documents in our archive and not digitised images from the collection. Some images from our collection are available on our Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wandsworthheritageservice/


Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?

Searching will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so if you haven’t found what you want it’s often best to try several related terms.


How do I access the documents I’ve found in the catalogue?

This material is only available in the Wandsworth Heritage Service search room at Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, London, SW11 1JB. Please request material in advance by emailing: heritage@gll.org or calling: 020 8871 7753

It is helpful to provide a list of the reference numbers of the records you would like to consult.


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