The East London Bengali Archive: A Celebration of Community and History

The East London Bengali Archive stands as a repository of historical materials, curated to capture and celebrate the story of the Bengali community in Tower Hamlets. This collaborative project, spearheaded by Four Corners Gallery and partnered with Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives and Swadhinata Trust, embodies a commitment to preserving and sharing the community's narratives.

Through the dedication of 25 volunteers and the generosity of the Tower Hamlets Bengali Community, the archive has amassed an impressive collection exceeding 4500 captivating photographs and 18 insightful oral histories. These materials, sourced from families, individuals, organizations, and photographers, represent diverse voices and perspectives, offering a unique window into the community's experiences, traditions, and aspirations.

The archive delves into a range of themes, including the intimacies of everyday life, the unwavering spirit of activism and political engagement, the dedication and resilience of commerce and work, the challenges of housing, the vibrant world of arts and music, and the energy and perspectives of the youth. Each theme illuminates a facet of the community's journey, and contribution to the social and cultural landscape of Tower Hamlets.
The East London Bengali Archive is more than simply a collection; it is a living testament to the community's history and enduring spirit. It serves as a valuable resource for researchers, students, and community members alike, offering insights into the past and informing present-day discussions.

The archive will be permanently housed within the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, ensuring its accessibility and legacy. We invite you to explore its diverse offerings and discover the remarkable stories that it reveals.

View The Collections