The Collections - Archive

The archive holdings can be found on UCL Special Collections' online archive database. Please note that a number of collections have not yet been catalogued.

The material in the archive falls into two groups: institutional records and papers related to the Huguenot experience in Britain and Ireland. The Huguenot Library is the repository for the French Hospital (founded 1718) and the Huguenot Society (founded 1885) records. Other institutional records include those of the Westminster French Protestant School, several charities, and church records (excluding registers). The Huguenot papers mostly comprise family papers, pedigrees, manuscripts and research papers.

Welfare and charity

The records of the French Hospital date back to its creation in 1718, and form the bulk of the archive. This collection includes minute books, records of applicants and inmates, accounts, indemnity bonds, inventories, correspondence, bequests and legal documents. The records of some charities administered by the Hospital or whose records were deposited with the Hospital after they had been wound up are also held. All the records can be consulted on microfiche, and the register of applicants up to 1957 has been published by the Huguenot Society (Quarto Series, vols. 52 and 53).

The records of poor relief given to French Protestant refugees from 1686 to 1876 compose the papers of the Royal Bounty and connected funds and contain details of the administration and distribution of the grants. Again, these can be consulted on microfiche.

Societies set up by the Huguenot communities to assist those in need were among the earliest Friendly Societies established in the UK. The archive holds the records of La Société de la Province de Normandie, or The Norman Society, which was founded in 1703. The records were presented to the Huguenot Library in 1970. The Charitable Society of Saintonge (St Onge) and Angoumois, which is still in existence, was founded in 1701 and its records are also held in the archive.

Church records

The Burn Donation contains records from French Protestant churches collected by J S Burn in the nineteenth century while he was Secretary to the Commission for inquiries into non-parochial registers. The church registers themselves are held in The National Archives, whilst the Huguenot Library holds administrative, consistorial and financial documents. These are also held on microfiche.

The records of the French Protestant Church of London (Eglise Protestante Française de Londres), originally in Threadneedle Street, now in Soho Square, are held on microfiche only. The original records remain in the care of the church and are kept at Soho Square. To see the originals, please write to the Hon. Archivist, c/o French Protestant Church of London Library, 9-11 Soho Square, London W1D 3DQ or email the church at

Family papers

These are collections of original documents relating to families, including correspondence, diaries, journals, and legal papers. Additional details can be found on the archive catalogue.


The collections include a series of historic prints relating to the history of the Huguenots, in addition to the photographs and other images to be found within the archive holdings. Enquiries about images and photography should be directed to the Librarian. If you require permission to publish an image, please contact The Huguenot Library's Copyright and Images Policy is available here.


19th century photograph taken in front of the French Hospital, Victoria Park


Spitalfields brocade: corded cream ground with design of flowers and stiff leaves flanked by drooping fronds in pink, blue, green and yellow

Huguenots going into exile, 17th Century, line engraving

Bill from a china shop to the French Hospital, 1757

Hand-painted coat of arms of the Layard family in Henry P J Layard, Arms and genealogical list (n.d.)