London. Photograph from the River Thames showing construction underway on Tower Bridge in 1889. Glass plate negative. © Historic England Archive AA83/01325.

What's New in the Archive?

Our Archive contains millions of photos illustrating England's archaeology, historic buildings and social history, both from the ground and from the air.

We've been collecting for a long time and we're working hard to make it all available. Here's what we've been up to recently…

Black and white photograph of newly completeted London Central Mosque.

Breaking New Ground

The John Laing collection provides a unique insight into the origins of iconic British buildings and the human effort that went into building them.

Woman holding a camera standing in front of four chimneys of a power station

Women Photographers in the Historic England Archive

Discover the women photographers whose work enriches the collections of the Historic England Archive.

A child sitting at the synoptoscope

Topical Press Agency Medical Collection

We've uncovered a remarkable collection of more than 4,000 medical images, deep within the vaults of our photography Archive.

Black and white archive photograph of a townscape viewed across a river.

The Maurice Barley Collection

Photographs of vernacular architecture in the East Midlands taken by the expert on the subject.

A busy street scene with pedestrians, buses and other vintage vehicles.

Julian Joseph Samuels Ltd

A collection of photographs of early 20th century London used for postcards.

Colour illustration of a stained glass window.

Stained Glass Watercolours

About the Matley-Moore collection illustrating some of the finest medieval stained glass in England.

archive black and white photograph of a classical style colonnaded garden building and an elaborate wrought-iron aviary

W J Day Collection

Photographs taken by the garden historian between 1890 and 1911

archive black and white photograph of a busy street scene with people and vehicles

Andor Gomme Collection

News of a recently catalogued collection focussing on 20th century architectural history.

Archive black and white photograph of a city and a domed cathedral, with early imaginary flying machines superimposed on it.

Crosses to Flying Machines

Some quirky and interesting images discovered in the Historic England Archive

Line-drawn archive illustration showing a windmill, a river and a church tower

Harper Collection

A collection of 1,100 drawings made by C G Harper to illustrate his travel books have recently been catalogued.

Archive black and white photograph of a group of schoolboys in the street between a brick building and a flint and stone medieval gatehouse, with a church tower in the background.

Marshall Keene and Co

Photos of 1920s and 1930s schools, hospitals and religious buildings from a collection that we've just finished cataloguing.

Black and white archive photograph of a busy street scene.

LMS Collection

Historic England Archive has conserved, digitised and catalogued 1,600 glass plate negatives of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Collection.

Arcive coloured photo of a Cathedral with a spire behind trees.

Lichfield in Colour 1869

Rediscovered - the earliest colour photos in the Historic England Archive.

A hand-coloured decorative slide showing an engraving of French aeronauts Jules and Caroline Durouf being rescued  after their balloon landed in the North Sea.

The Shadbolt Collection

We recently acquired the earliest surviving aerial images of England taken by photographer and balloonist Cecil Shadbolt between 1882-1892.

A group of women on the quay at Great Yarmouth with herring boats beyond.


Find out how we decide which collections to take in and also how you could contribute to the Archive.

Archive sepia photograph looking across a wide paved space with houses and shops both on the far side and lining a road leading away to the left. People in period costume, mostly children, are standing looking to camera.

Small Collections

A variety of small but interesting collections from the 1860s have been catalogued recently.