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Port and River Archive access and enquiries

The Port and River Archive, which incorporates the Port of London Authority Archive, has records, publications and photographs relating to the working river, and films of the Thames from the 20th century. Book an appointment to view archive holdings or send a query to the archivist.

Due to constraints placed on our services by Covid-19, we are not currently able to offer research appointments. We hope to resume this service by the end of the year, but due to these uncertain times we cannot guarantee a date. Please check back to this page for updates.

Ask the archivist

To make an enquiry concerning the collection, or if you would like to visit the archive, please email [email protected] with your request. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 20 days, but this may take longer if the service is particularly busy.

The Search Room

The Search Room is located at the Museum of London Docklands, in the Sainsbury Gallery and Study Centre.

Access to the material held in the library is via the Search Room appointment system. Please note that for security reasons the library is not accessible for browsing at present. As with the archive collections, books can be requested and brought through to the Search Room for you.

Opening times

The Search Room is open by appointment on Thursdays, 10.30am - 1pm and 2-4.30pm.

Appointments must be booked in advance, as the archive cannot accommodate drop-in users.

Making an appointment

To make an appointment please fill out the Research Visit Request Form. Please be as specific as possible about what you wish to see and why. We will then contact you to confirm the appointment. For more information, view the Research Visits page.

Conditions of access

The first time you visit the Search Room you will need to show two forms of original identification, proof of your name with signature and proof of address.

All visits will also be subject to the terms published on the reverse of the Research Visit Request form, which you will be asked to sign on arrival.

You may take reference photographs of material, subject to physical condition and copyright restrictions, on signing a camera agreement and keeping an accurate list of what you have photographed.

Search room facilities

The Search Room has lockers available to store personal possessions, and power points for charging electronic devices.

Contact us

The Port and River Archive

Museum of London Docklands
No. 1 Warehouse
West India Quay
London E14 4AL

email: [email protected]
tel: 020 7001 9850