Library and Research

A photograph of a set of books on a library shelf about the creation of New Town in Harlow. The books vary in size and colour.
Library Reference books about New Towns

What’s in our archives?

Our collection holds a huge variety of paper-based documents, including original town plans, photos, parish registers, newspapers, and books. All these items contain rare and invaluable information about Harlow from the time of the individual parishes, through the new town era, up to the present day.

Over the shoulder look at a man looking at an archived book.
Take a look into our newspaper archives

Newspaper collection

We have a vast collection of newspapers which begin with editions from 1945 all the way up to 2016, these offer insight into the daily lives of ordinary residents of the area. When visiting the museum, a team member can help you locate a specific date within the newspaper archives. Previous visitors have found wedding announcements, sporting event details and birthday celebrations, so why not take the opportunity to dive into your past.

Delve into local history

The various items included within our archives provide a unique insight into the people who lived in the town and their way of life over multiple decades. It is an amazing resource for anyone with an interest in the town’s history, its people, the architecture and design. We have excavation reports from Roman archaeological discoveries, insight into the role of the villages during the Tudor period, architectural plans showing for the development of the New Town and over 6,000 photographs that offer a visual timeline of the changing landscape of the town.