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Guide to the Archives Centre

Find a range of great resources to help you with research, to find the correct service for your project.


View over 70,000 prints, photos and original artworks related to Westminster's history including architectural photography, advertising material, postcards, portraits, plans and more.

Searching for images

A prints and photographs card index is available in the Searchroom; search the collection by street or prominent building, and, in certain cases, by artist, portrait sitter and subject.

View 1000s of images using our WESTCAT catalogue, our vast collection of books and pamphlets or our newspaper cuttings collection.

Obtaining copies of images

Original images cannot be photocopied for preservation reasons. To obtain copies, please use:

  • self-service photography - you may take photographs of most images in our collections for a small fee 
  • digital imaging services - we can provide digitally-scanned copies of most images through our reprographics service (most unbound items of A3 size or smaller can be processed)
  • professional photography - arrange for copies to be made by our external photographer (prices available on application)

Notable collections

Alongside our main topographical collections, we hold a number of distinct collections of special interest. Most of these collections are indexed in our searchroom's card indexes or on WESTCAT; some have separate printed indexes.

Ashbridge collection

Prints, water colours and drawings relating to St Marylebone, collected by Arthur Ashbridge, District Surveyor of St Marylebone from 1884 to 1918.

Gardner collection

Historic prints, drawings and photographs of Westminster: part of the collection of John Edmund Gardner (1819 to 1899) Search our card index in the Archives Searchroom or visit WESTCAT 

Crace collection

Microfilm copy of over 8,000 images from the British Museum's Crace Collection of London Views. The collection is a comprehensive graphical representation of London from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Broadley albums

Eight volumes of manuscripts, prints, engravings and cartoons relating to the history of Piccadilly and the history of the Haymarket theatres. Compiled by Alexander Meyrick Broadley (1847-1916).

Theatrical postcards

Over 500 postcards of stars of the late Victorian and early Edwardian London stage. 

Trace collection

Photographic survey of the City of Westminster by David Trace: 20,000 views dating from 1972 onwards

Civil Defence albums

Photographic record of WWII bomb damage in the City of Westminster

Weller albums

Photographs by David Weller and his father David John Weller, taken in Westminster, City of London and Lambeth between 1935 and 1965. The collection documents the Silver Jubilee celebrations for King George V in May 1935 and King George V's funeral in 1936

Published: 31 December 2020

Last updated: 5 February 2021