Archives and history

The Heritage Service is on the second floor in Redbridge Central library. It is free to use and offers a diverse range of local and family history resources. Many of these general resources including books, historic newspapers and online resources are available during normal Library opening times.

For a specific enquiry, to view historic photographs or archives you must make a booking in advance at

020 8708 2422


We provide a service for local and family history research and hold the largest collection of materials in the Borough on the history of Ilford, Wanstead, Woodford and Redbridge.
These materials include:

We also have a general collection of books on the history of Essex and the surrounding London boroughs including maps, periodicals and local newspapers.

Materials from the archive service are available by appointment.


Discover the history on your doorstep, courtesy of the Heritage Service. 

Download a copy of the Aldborough Walk map (PDF 1004 KB) and take a 60 to 70-minute stroll from Barkingside to Ilford War Memorial via historic sites.


The Heritage Service delivers a wide range of free education sessions based around the national curriculum. Groups can use historic archives, maps, and photographs to learn about the history of their local area and school.

Combine your session with a visit to the museum where students can handle real artefacts, take part in fun activities and explore the displays.

Contact for more information or to book a session.


  • birth, marriage , death index for England and Wales (1837-1996) 
  • census 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871,1881, 1901
  • Essex parish census listings for Essex - 1797 - 1831
  • international genealogical index (IGI) - 1988 and 1992 editions
  • parish registers
  • directories and telephone directories  
  • electoral registers  
  • Essex hearth tax assessments - 1662
  • name index to Essex poor law settlement papers
  • return of owners of land in Essex - 1873 "New Doomsday Book"


  • civilian war dead of the United Kingdom
  • 1939 - 1945 Boroughs of Ilford, and Wanstead and Woodford
  • Barking Urban District Council
  • St Margaret's Church Register of Graves
  • parish Registers of Bobbingworth Essex Appendix printed 1884
  • parish registers of Bobbingworth Essex printed 1884
  • sepulchral memorials of Bobbingworth printed 1888
  • parish Records of Ongar Essex printed 1886
  • parish Records of Fyfield Essex 1538 - 1700
  • parish Records of Greenstead Essex printed 1892
  • parish Registers of Lambourne Essex Printed 1890
  • parish Registers of Moreton Essex printed 1890
  • parish Registers of Stapleford Tawny Essex printed 1892
  • registers of Theydon Mount Essex
  • wills at Chelmsford volumes 1, 2, and 3 - 1400 - 1858
  • feet of Fines for Essex volumes 1, 2, and 3 - 1182 - 1547
  • Essex Wills (England) volumes 1, 2, and 3 - 1558 - 1577
  • Essex Wills the Archdeaconry Courts volumes 4, 5 and 6 - 1577 - 1603
  • Essex Wills the Commissary Court volumes 8, 9 and 10 - 1558 - 1578
  • Elizabethan Wills of South West Essex

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