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Bancroft is one of London’s best local history libraries

PUBLISHED: 16:13 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 05 October 2010

From the Local Government Ombudsman: Dear Editor, I HAVE heard with very great concern the proposal to close the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and disperse the archive collection at Bancroft to some destinations yet to be decided. Bancroft is one of the very best local history libraries in London

From the Local Government Ombudsman:

Dear Editor,

I HAVE heard with very great concern the proposal to close the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and disperse the archive collection at Bancroft to some destinations yet to be decided (East London Advertiser, June 19).

Bancroft is one of the very best local history libraries in London. Not only is the collection one of the finest, but the staff are wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable.

I have worked in the library over many years and have donated to it some photographs and the collection of recordings I made in the 1970s of residents of Rothschild Buildings in Spitalfields (Flower & Dean-street).

Many other donors will share my unease that the materials they have given to the library will become less accessible as a result of closure and dispersal.

Whether or not it is feasible for Tower Hamlets council to retain ownership of the library building, it is essential that the collection be maintained together and for a new home to be found before the existing library is closed.

Prof Jerry White

Birkbeck College, University of London

Local Government Ombudsman for England

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