The East London Mosque has launched Britain’s first ever Muslim archives, at an event attended by senior politicians and academics (15 Jan 2015).

Labour MP Sadiq Khan joined the Lib Dem’s Simon Hughes MP, and Jeff James (CEO of The National Archives), along with Humayun Ansari (Professor of History of Islam and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari MBE (trustee of the East London Mosque) last night at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel.

The event celebrated the completion of an ambitious archiving cataloguing project, including the launch of an online catalogue, dating back across the mosque’s 105-year history (it began life in the Ritz Hotel in London).

A joint project with The National Archives, the new online archive catalogue details the mosque’s private collection, which will be made accessible to researchers. The newly restored Minutes Book of the London Mosque Fund (which later became the East London Mosque Trust) was also on display for guests to see last night.

Simon Hughes praised the “wonderful collaboration”on show between The National Archives and the mosque, whilst Sadiq Khan said that archives proved what Muslim communities had done to regenerate “economically, socially and spiritually this part of London”.

Jeff James of The National Archives added that the new archives were “absolutely tremendous”. Prof Humayun Ansari congratulated the mosque and said that it was of “immense value”.

The archival project was made possible by support from the National Archives Cataloguing Grant Programme, and expert guidance from staff at the National Archives’Religious Archives Private Archives Team and Tower Hamlets Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.


> See Prof. Humayun's Full Speech on the ELM Archives