The LAARC is part of the Museum of London's Department of Archaeological Collections and Archive. Based at Mortimer Wheeler House in Hackney, the LAARC holds information concerning nearly 8,500 archaeological sites that have been investigated in Greater London over the past 100 years.
In addition, the LAARC stores the full archives for over 3,500 of these sites, and the records and finds from nearly all archaeological work in London ends up here. The LAARC also maintains an archaeological library collection which can be viewed by appointment. In 2012 the LAARC was officially recognised by the Guinness World Records organisation as the largest archaeological archive in the world.
To search for information about our object collections and archive records, and the sites they came from, see the LAARC Online Catalogue. For specific information on newly deposited archives, see the New archive deposits pages.
The LAARC is the primary source of evidence for early London and a resource of international significance. It is a particularly precious resource because archaeology is a destructive process. Unearthing one deposit usually involves removing another, so whereas a scientific experiment can be repeated, an archaeological site can never be ‘re-excavated’. Be it a Roman house, a medieval wharf or a Victorian cellar, once it has been excavated, it survives only in the archive (and in the short memories of the diggers themselves).
The LAARC can be visited for research purposes free of charge, but by appointment only. Contact us to make an appointment. LAARC tours are also available, although charges do apply. We also carry out a range of events and activites throughout the year – please see our events page for more information.
For regularly updated information about the LAARC, including the Volunteer Inclusion Programme, please visit the LAARC pages on the Museum of London blog.