How to use our archives

How to order material

Our archives are kept in a storage facility in Cheshire, so we order your requests once a week. If you'd like to order material, the process usually goes like this:

  • Decide what material you want to order
  • Contact us at to let us know that you'd like to make an order
  • We'll give you a date by which you should submit your requests. This is usually the Wednesday before you want to visit

Try not to miss your deadline date. Otherwise, you'll miss the weekly order and you'll have to rearrange your visit for another time.

Before your visit

Make an appointment as early as you can because our reading room gets booked quite far in advance and our material isn't stored on site. To book a visit, contact

Submit your enquiry in writing, via email ( or post (to the address below). Writing your enquiries ensures a full audit trail because responses can take time.

Where to find us

Our reading room is open to the public for research Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00 by prior appointment. Our address is:

TfL Corporate Archives
5 Endeavour Square
London E20 1JN

by public transport, cycling or walking.

How to make copies

If you need to make copies of documents in our archive, take this into account:

  • You shouldn't attempt to photocopy documents or the pages of books yourself
  • Photocopying requests should be made to an archivist who then assesses whether there are any risks to the document and will only continue in accordance with UK copyright laws
  • Only black and white copies are available
  • The number of photocopies allowed is limited to 40 pages per visit and the copying may need to be done after your visit
  • You can take photos of documents on a digital camera, but you should check with the archivist before you do so. And remember to turn your flash off
  • Use of cameras in the search room, for any purpose other than photographing records, is strictly prohibited
  • You must abide by copyright regulations if you have obtained copies of records, whether photocopies or digital images

If you can't visit us

We're happy to take on small amounts of research for users who can't visit us in person.

This is restricted to a maximum of two hours per enquiry. This two-hour slot also includes searching catalogues and ordering documents without any cost.

If you, or an archive researcher, feels that the request will take longer than planned, we recommend looking for professional researchers on The Association of Genealogists and Researchers or The National Archives List of Independent Researchers.

Accessing new records

Unless they're already in the public domain, newly created records cannot be seen by the public for the first 20 years. This ensures that records with commercial confidentiality agreements remain confidential during this period.

Sensitive records, or those relating to transport security, are closed for up to 100 years.

Access to all records is, even so, subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.