About the Catalogue

What is our catalogue?

Our catalogue is a database containing descriptions about the archive collections that we hold. You can search the catalogue to look for things of interest to you. Currently, no images of our records are included in the catalogue.

What do we have in our collections?

The collections of the TfL Corporate Archives date from 1556 through to the present day, covering our predecessor bodies and providing material for research on a range of topics.

The Corporate Archives is used for research on topics including architecture, development of the organisation, development of the tube lines, Frank Pick, horse buses, health and safety, genealogy, property history, Victoria Coach Station, staff, wartime London, maps, trade marks, disused stations, and bus routes. Also included in our catalogue are some descriptions of early omnibus records that are held on our behalf by London Metropolitan Archives, and relevant records in the custody of the Historical Model Railway Society. Enquiries regarding these records should be made directly to the holding repositories. Details for them can be found in the useful links section.

Are all our collections included in the catalogue?

The catalogue currently comprises descriptions of more than 135,000 records at file or item level, representing c.92% of our entire holdings. The collections grow on an annual basis and the catalogue will be updated regularly. New material becomes available to search on a regular basis as reviews and cataloguing have been completed.

Catalogue structure

The catalogue remains very much a work in progress. This means that reference numbers may change. For this reason it is imperative that users record the ArchiveRefNum of records that they are interested in consulting, as this is the static code that enables Archives staff to locate the records in question.

The catalogue is based on an archival hierarchical classification scheme whereby records are grouped into various series according to their source of acquisition into the collections. This means that records relating to a single subject will often be spread across different series, and furthermore, that one series may contain many different types of records and subjects. It is rare that all records belonging to a particular series will be relevant to a single topic of research and therefore it is important to always look at individual file and item level records and make decisions about relevance based upon those, rather than just on the series level description. It is also not possible to request to consult records if you only provide us with a series level ArchiveRefNum.

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