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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2486
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: TOYNBEE HALL
Date(s): 1911-1972
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 7.28 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Toynbee Hall


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1873 Reverend Samuel Barnett and his wife Henrietta requested to be placed in a deprived parish so that they could participate in poor relief. The foundation of Toynbee Hall in 1884 was their solution to the poverty they witnessed. The Hall was a student's residence combined with a community centre. The Hall was open to young academics who were able to rent out rooms, on the condition that they contribute to the community work. The Hall was named after Arnold Toynbee, a social philosopher and economist and friend of the Barnetts, who had died the previous year aged 31, of meningitis caused by overwork.

Although the idea that those studying poverty and unemployment should live among the poorer classes was not new, Toynbee Hall was innovatory because the students lived together like a college. This 'University Settlement' was the first of its kind in the world and the model for many others both in Great Britain and abroad. Clement Atlee and William Beveridge were among several influential residents.

The Hall carried out varied work, offering legal advice, campaigning for the rights of immigrants, hosting lectures and providing adult education.

Toynbee Hall is still active, situated on Commercial Street, E1 and providing support for the local community.

See for more information (accessed August 2010).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Toynbee Hall university settlement, including minutes of the Council; minutes of Committees of the Council; other records of the Council; financial accounts; Warden's files; papers relating to the Barnett Memorial Fellowship Trust, the Toynbee Hall Endowment Fund and the Attlee Memorial Foundation Appeal; papers of the Legal Advice Centre; newspaper cuttings books and plans.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into an order which reflects divisions between the different functions and operations of the organisation and its administration.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in August 1987.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also A/TOY for more records relating to Toynbee Hall.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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