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Researchers, historians and genealogists will be among those welcomed back to London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) from 7 September, following its closure due to the Covid-19 lockdown in March. The City of London Corporation-owned archives will provide on-site reader facilities to those wishing to consult original historic...

Researchers, historians and genealogists will be among those welcomed back to London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) from 7 September, following its closure due to the Covid-19 lockdown in March.

The City of London Corporation-owned archives will provide on-site reader facilities to those wishing to consult original historic documents across a wide range of areas, such as London’s architecture, education, communities, transport, and legal system.

As part of its commitment to reopening responsibly and in line with Government and Public Health England guidelines, LMA has undergone a rigorous risk assessment, an audit of its processes, and introduced a raft of new safety measures.

They include shorter opening hours (10.30am-3.30pm); safety screens at enquiry desks; face masks/coverings for visitors; enhanced on-site cleaning throughout the day; and at least 72 hours’ quarantine of all consulted archives before their return to the strong rooms.

Advance booking (i.e. at least, seven days ahead) via email at [email protected] is essential for everyone wishing to visit LMA and use its services.

LMA is maintaining its strong online presence and also encourages those interested in the history of London to view its collections and access its extensive resources via cityoflondon.gov.uk/lma.

Over 250,000 historic images can be viewed at London’s Picture Archive and hundreds of films about the City of London’s history are featured on the LMA’s YouTube channel.

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Wendy Hyde, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said: “The extensive collections at London Metropolitan Archives are invaluable to those researching the city’s history, as well as their own personal histories, so the news of its reopening will be welcomed by everyone who relies upon them.

“The Covid-19 measures in place have become part of our ‘new normal’ during these challenging times but, after more than five months of closure, they will ensure that the archives’ services can reopen safely.”

Geoff Pick, director of City of London Corporation’s London Metropolitan Archives, added: “My colleagues and I are looking forward to next month when we join other City institutions in welcoming back visitors through their doors.

“The limits that we are putting on some of our services and visitor numbers underline our determination to reopen safely, but we remain very positive about reopening the building which is, arguably, an essential resource in its field.”

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