The inauguration of the first ever British Muslim Archives strong-room at the East London Mosque Trust was held yesterday on the 22nd November 2017 with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Speaking to guests and dignitaries at the packed ceremony, Mayor Khan, said: “It’s an absolute privilege for me as the Mayor of London, to be at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, where we open the Archives. These archives are a hundred and seven years’ worth of history and they are being preserved. This is a great example of Muslims contributing to the wellbeing of East London more than a hundred years ago but also shows how the organisation has grown and helped our city become the greatest city in the World. By chronicling our history, the East London Mosque has done a service to the next generation. It ensures that we have full a proper account of the past, we can benefit from the knowledge, experience and wisdom of all those that went before us.”

The newly opened strongroom will safely house the Trust’s substantial archive collection which dates back to 1910, during which time the organisation was conceived with a mission to provide a mosque in London for the faithful. The Archive also has a plan to make a national callout to Muslim communities and individuals who may be in possession of material that will be of value to the Archives and can deposit them for safe keeping but also to enable access to the material.

Chairman of the East London Mosque Trust, Habibur Rahman, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have opened the new strongroom at the East London Mosque. This pivotal work was led on by our Archives Steering Group headed by Dr Jamil Sherif, who given a considerable amount of his time voluntarily to see the project flourish and become the only British Muslim Archives in the country. We hope in coming years the archives will continue to grow and document the successes of the Muslim community here in London, but also further afield.”

The East London Mosque Archives is one of a kind; it is the first Muslim archives in Britain and Western Europe. It has received support from The National Archives in 2014 through its National Cataloguing Grants Programme, which enabled the Archive to catalogue a significant proportion of its content through the recruitment of a dedicated archivist, Eilís McCarthy. The venture has also benefited from a grant from the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, and much goodwill of the professional archivists' community.