Port of London Authority archives to be catalogued and made available

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Access to the Port of London Authority archive – said to be one of the most significant in London – is set to be unlocked in a three-year cataloguing programme.

The archive covering 250 years of London’s water-borne history is to be catalogued by Museum of London Docklands staff. The work is expected to take at least three years and will give historians, river lovers and members of the public easy access to the archive.

The PLA was created through an Act of Parliament overseen by Lloyd George and Winston Churchill to bring order to the chaos of the busy and congested port of the early 1900s. It came into existence on 31 March 1909.

The archive includes 30 boxes of documents relating to the 19th century dock companies; 120 boxes of documents relating to the early years of the PLA; 140 boxes of documents relating to post-war PLA activities; 50 boxes of post-war PLA personnel documents; architectural drawings relating to all aspects of the docks; and a range of PLA river charts. It adds up to a lot of material.l

An entertaining historical presentation telling the story of the PLA is already available can be found on the organisation’s website at www.pla.co.uk.

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