Much of our casework archive covering 1958-2005 is kept at the London Metropolitan Archives, under reference LMA/4460. Church case files and other records are generally retained in our office. You can find out more here.
The collection at the London Metropolitan Archives principally contains case files compiled by the Society's Buildings Sub-Committee and relating to individual buildings for which listed building consent or statutory listing was sought. Remaining items comprise lists of members and a small selection of early printed items about the Society and its activities.
The case-files provide contextual information regarding the discussions and decisions of the Victorian Society over individual buildings. They contain useful information for researching conservation and planning issues surrounding these buildings. Their primary value however is in recording the workings of the Society itself and the personalities and opinions of its members. With the records of English Heritage and Historic England (also held at London Metropolitan Archives), local planning authorities, and other voluntary bodies (such as the Georgian Group, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and the Twentieth Century Society), this collection could help compile a comprehensive study into building conservation in England and Wales in the second half of the 20th century generally.
The case-file series is incomplete (some files have been destroyed while others have been retained by the Society) and other principal records of the Society, such as minutes of the Council and of the Buildings Sub-Committee and issues of The Victorian magazine have not been deposited. The membership lists contain personal information about members and access to these files is restricted.
Although based in London, the Society acts in the interest of buildings throughout England and Wales. There are a few instances where buildings overseas were also drawn to the Society's attention. The Society was not solely concerned with the exterior of buildings. It attributed importance to interior decoration and furnishings, and to commemorative monuments and street furniture erected broadly within the Victorian and Edwardian periods.
The collection is rich in information about the Society. As well as recording the Society's cause celebres it also includes a large number of smaller buildings and structures. It covers the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge at one end of the scale and street lamps in Cambridge and fonts in churches at the other.
The collection has been arranged into 3 parts:
These records are open to public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to closure periods. Copyright on these records rests with the Victorian Society.
For information, contact the London Metropolitan Archives. You will need to give at least 2 working days notice of a visit. Please contact us first for a letter of authorisation. Telephone 020 84747 5890 or email [email protected] [followed by] victoriansociety.org.uk.