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Foundling Hospital Research Forum

Captain Coram portrait

Are you carrying out research on the Foundling Hospital?

The Foundling Hospital Research Forum is open to all those studying the Foundling Hospital archives in depth. Its aim is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge about the Foundling Hospital archives.

Members are academics, independent researchers, authors and historians, and include staff from Coram, the Foundling Museum and London Metropolitan Archives(LMA).

The group meets twice a year at Coram and LMA. One of the recent topics being discussed by the group is food and customs surrounding food and there is a lot to talk about!

If you are interested, please email exhibitions[at]


From fashion accessory to feather duster: the ostrich feather
trade in London

London Metropolitan Archives Business Records

Ostrich feathers

The delicate elegance of the ostrich feather has traditionally been a symbol for luxurious extravagance.

The ostrich feather as a fashion item really took off with the fashionable elite in the eighteenth century with feathers imported from South Africa. The trade peaked in the late nineteenth century before a crash at the onset of the First World War.

Charlotte Hopkins describes the rise and fall of the ostrich feather and finds evidence of a thriving ostrich feather industry in the City and East End of London, specifically in the Salaman family papers and Sun Insurance Office records.

Read the full article


Sudbury Ephemera Archive(SEA)

Collecting Sudbury's memories before they are lost

Sudbury Ephemera Archive

SEA in a small way are trying to preserve Sudbury’s, Suffolk past in the form of paperwork, by collecting old documents, invoices, photos, letters, postcards, club & company minutes, programs, fliers, posters, house sale details and paperwork related to Sudbury’s past.

Sudbury has a remarkable history by any standards. It has a vibrant local museum, the Suffolk Records Office which collects more formal documents and records and the thriving Gainsborough House, birth place of the English portrait and landscape painter Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788).

But history, especially local history, is about more than the big events. It is often the personal, detailed insights into the lives of our forbears which can bring history to life and give a sense of nearness and a feeling of what life was really like for them.

This is why ephemera is so important, too often these are things that get thrown out when someone moves, scales down or dies. But these are the very things SEA want people to preserve and, hopefully, in due course, donate to them for preservation and cataloguing in order to make them available to historians and the general public.

More details:




Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life