Charles Booth Online Archive Guide for family historians


Searching by name

Check to see if your family were interviewed by the Booth social investigators by entering the family name into the catalogue search facility. Every person interviewed by the investigators has been listed in the catalogue of original survey records.

Searching by street

If you know the street where your ancestors lived check the digital Map Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9 to discover the level of poverty or wealth assigned to that street. Use the search facility to find the street on the map. Identify the colour of the street and compare it to the colour key to discover the social classification of your ancestors' street.

For some examples of descriptions for streets of various levels of poverty click here

While browsing the map you can click on the drop down box in the top-right of the page and use the 'Find nearby pages in the survey notebooks' option to view a list of the records relating to the area you are observing.

There may be a description of the street in the 'police notebooks' - so called because the social investigators walked around the streets with local policemen between the years 1898 and 1900. The images of the 31 original police notebooks are available online to assist your research. When listed along with other sections of the catalogue they are identifiable by having an extra link to 'Display digitised image of this page'. Alternatively, you can browse through the police notebooks listed by district by clicking here.

Searching by occupation

If you know an ancestor worked in a particular industry and would like to find out more about working conditions, rates of wages and identify interviews with workers in that industry use the catalogue search facility.

The next step

If you find archive notebooks which you would like to consult in person contact the Archives Division of the British Library of Political and Economic Science. Click here for contact details.

If you are unable to visit the archives and wish to receive a photocopy of pages from the archive click here for details concerning charges.

Maps for sale

Interest in the Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9 is such that the LSE Archives have produced copies for sale. For further details please see Map Order Form.

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