The Layers of London website was created through the collaboration and contributions of a number of institutional partners and supporters whose contributions are gratefully acknowledged.


The London Metropolitan Archives 

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is a public research centre that specialises in the history of London. It cares for and provide access to the historical archives of businesses, schools, hospitals, charities and all manner of other organisations from the London area. With millions of books, maps, photographs, films and documents dating back to 1067 in its strong rooms, it's proud to provide access to one of the finest city archives in the world - you could call it the memory of London.

Proud to support the Layers of London project, LMA is providing a large number of the key historic maps you see on the Layers of London website as well as a selection of film clips, estate plans and 1,000 images from the photographic archives of the London County Council. LMA will also deliver workshops to community groups and schools interested in researching their history and developing projects about it. 

All of the images contributed to the Layers of London project are taken from LMA’s online image library COLLAGE, home to over 250,000 images of London.

Find out more .


Birkbeck,  University of London 

Birkbeck College is a college of the University of London specialised in providing wide-ranging world-class evening education to make it accessible to students for whom day-time education is difficult.  

As such, Birkbeck caters to a wide range of non-traditional students, many of whom are defined as mature students.  

Its contributions to the Layers of London project are to embed the project in history education, both taught degree programmes as well as short courses. It recognises the value of such a platform for adult history students, and is keen to encourage students to share the outcomes of their research with the public, and to learn to communicate their knowledge in non-academic environments. 

Find out more .


Historic England 

Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England's spectacular historic environment, ensuring the preservation of some 400,000 listed places, including buildings, battlefields, monuments, parks, gardens, shipwrecks and more.  

The Historic England Archive enables the discovery of archaeology, historic buildings and social history. It holds 12 million photographs, drawings, reports and publications from the 1850s to the present day. 

Its contributions to the Layers of London project include digitising and making available 24,000 aerial photos of London taken in the 1940s as part of a national survey by the Royal Air Force. This collection captures post-World War II Britain with an extraordinary level of detail. 

Using a special online tool called a Georeferencer, the images shared with the Layers of London project will be stitched together for the first time. This will take place through the contributions of members of the public including school children. The outcome will be a single aerial image of London.  

In parallel, through collaborative work with the Layers of London project team, Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme will encourage schools to develop local history projects using the Layers of London website. This will be as part of the prestigious ‘Heritage Schools Award’ scheme and will involve working with the Layers of London Public Engagement Team to develop the resources to make this possible. 

Find out more .


MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) 

MOLA is an innovative archaeology and built heritage practice that has been providing independent, professional heritage advice and services for over 40 years.  As a charitable company, its aim is to inspire people to be curious about their heritage. It is proud of its award-winning community engagement and education programmes which are founded on partnership and participation.  They set out to share the knowledge and information MOLA generates with the widest audience in ways which strengthen communities and create a sense of place. 

For this project, MOLA is responsible for the geomatics work required to ensure that the key map layers fit together accurately, and for the development and delivery of community engagement activities allowing community groups to understand their built and material heritage and the archaeology around them.  

Find out more.


The National Archives 

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research and an independent research organisation in its own right. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK's most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future. 

The National Archives' contribution to this project are the 1910/1911 Inland Revenue Survey Maps which are associated with detailed records about each building plot. We are hopeful that access to these maps will facilitate access to the detailed field records held at The National Archives, providing very detailed information about each property on the map. 

Find out more.

For the latest stories, follow the Media Team on Twitter @TNAmediaofficer  


The British Library 

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and Ireland. It receives a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland.  

Its collection includes well over 150 million items, in most known languages, and 3 million new items are added every year. It has manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings, music scores, and patents and its Sound Archive keeps sound recordings from 19th-century cylinders to CD, DVD and MD recordings. It also houses 8 million stamps and other philatelic items. 

All this requires over 625 km of shelves, and grows by 12 km every year. If you see 5 items each day, it would take you over 80,000 years to see the whole of the collection 

The world's earliest dated printed book, the Diamond Sutra, is sometimes on display in the Library’s exhibition galleries alongside many other treasures. 

The library has on-site space for over 1,200 readers and over 16,000 people use the collections each day (on site and online). It has numerous online catalogues, information and exhibitions can be found on this website. It operates the world's largest document delivery service providing millions of items a year to customers all over the world. 

The British Library has contributed a number of key maps to the Layers of London website, and also provides expertise on georeferencing historic maps (overlaying historic maps to accurately fit on a modern map enabling us to explore how London has changed over time.  

Find out more.


The National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland is a reference library with world-class collections. It is also Scotland's largest library and one of the major research libraries in Europe. The Library’s map collection is the largest in Scotland and one of the largest in the world, with around two million cartographic items. Its holdings cover all parts of the globe, and range from early atlases and manuscript maps to current digital mapping.

The Library's Map Images website provides free online access to over 200,000 maps. Maps of Scotland over the last five centuries are well represented, including county maps, town plans, military maps, estate mapping, as well as thematic and topographic maps. Ordnance Survey maps of England, Scotland, and Wales from the 1840s to the 1960s form the largest online category. Many of these maps have been georeferenced, and the Library also provides a number of these as web services through its Historic Maps Subscription API.

The Library's contribution to the Layers of London project has been through the provision of georeferenced map layers, including: Ordnance Survey, Five feet to the Mile, 1893-1896 and Ordnance Survey, National Grid maps, 1940s-1960s. Find out more.


Map of Essex 1777

Map of Essex 1777 ( is an online resource containing a high-resolution version of the Map of the County of Essex 1777 by John Chapman & Peter André.

This open access version supports all modern web browsers, platforms and devices for the benefit of students, teachers, historians, researchers and other interested people.

An ongoing digital heritage project designed and developed by Tim Fransen with the generous support of Biblioteca Virtual del Patrimonio Bibliográfico (BVPB), Essex Record Office (ERO), Layers of London as well as other institutional supporters and individual donors – collectively helping to realise the project and ensuring this remarkable map reaches the widest public and remains freely accessible for everyone.

Map of Essex 1777 is delighted to share its historic map with Layers of London and looks forward to seeing contributions of social histories extending further eastward. Additionally with the newly created georeferenced tileset Map of Essex 1777 will be building a GPS enabled version – available online soon.

Find out more .



Layers of London has been made possible through the generous financial support of the following:

National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

The Ford Britain Trust.

The Institute of Historical Research Trust.


We want to thank our supporters that work and engage with the project to enrich Layers of London:

AAA Zone

Bexley Archives and Local History Centre

British History Online

C. Hoare & Co.

Croydon Archives and Museum

Disablement Association of Barking and Dagenham

East End Women's Museum

Eastbrook School

Eastbury Manor House

Eastbury Comprehensive School

Four Corners

Friends of City Churches

Friends of Hackney Archives

Gants Hill Library

Greek and Greek Cypriot Gastronomy in London

Gunnersbury Park

Haringey First World War Peace Forum

Harrow and Edgware Reform Synagogue

Harrow Supplementary Schools Forum 

Havering Local Studies Library

Havering Museum

The Historic Towns Trust and the British Historic Towns Atlas

Hounslow and Ealing Library Service

Kenley Revival Project

King's Cross Story Palace

Know Your Place

Liberal Jewish Synagogue

London Cultureseekers

London Historians

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Newham Heritage Group

Patrick Mannix and MOTCO

Pitzhanger Manor

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust

Senate House Library

Studio 3 Arts

Survey of London

University College London

University of East London

University of West London Archives

Valence House Museum

Westminster Kingsway College, ESOL department