Explore Charles Booth’s London

The famous poverty maps and police notebooks from Charles Booth’s study of Victorian London can now be explored on a new interactive website.

Charles Booth’s Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London (1886-1903) was a comprehensive and scientific social survey of London life. One of the most well-known parts of the project are Booth’s coloured maps of London, which indicate Victorian poverty levels on a street by street basis.

The new website, Charles Booth’s London, allows visitors to search the poverty maps for present-day locations, including streets and postcodes, and to geo-locate over 41 digitised police notebooks against the maps. The site also provides a wealth of contextual information about Booth, the Inquiry and Victorian London.

In June 2016, The London School of Economics Library’s Archive of Charles Booth’s Inquiry was inscribed onto UNESCO’s UK Memory of the World Register. The archive comprises of over 450 volumes of interviews, questionnaires, observations and statistical information. The Memory of the World Programme seeks to focus world attention on the need to safeguard endangered and unique library and archive collections, while making them accessible globally.