Welcome to the Archive Room

Discover more about the history of the South London Gallery, its past exhibitions and art collection, and the local area. The displays in the Archive room will evolve over time. If you have memories you would like to share with us, please do get in touch at archive@southlondongallery.org.

Archive and Local History

Archive and Local History

The SLG’s extensive archive of its history, in addition to material relating to the social, architectural and cultural history of the local area, is now available to the public for the first time both digitally and through changing displays in our dedicated archive gallery in the former Peckham Road Fire Station at 82 Peckham Road. Discover more about people and places that have contributed to the rich and varied histories of the South London Gallery and the local area. For specific information about material held in the South London Gallery archive, please search our online catalogue.

SLG History

SLG History

The origins of the South London Gallery lie in the South London Working Men's College, established by William Rossiter in 1868, which evolved into a Free Library and Art Gallery. Rossiter was one of many 19th-century social reformers, philanthropists and artists who set out to improve not only housing and sanitation, but education and culture.

Fire Station

Fire Station

Built in 1867, the former Peckham Road Fire Station is a striking example of Victorian domestic Gothic architecture.

Contemporary Collection

Contemporary Collection

The South London Gallery’s art collection is divided into the contemporary collection comprising approximately 145 works from post 1970, and the historic collection, embracing all earlier pieces. Today the SLG’s historic collection is managed by Southwark Council as part of the Southwark Art Collection. Much of the contemporary collection was acquired in the 1990s when the SLG began to collect contemporary works by artists such as Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk. You can see highlights from the SLG's contemporary collection below, click on Artist or Year to see all the works available online.

Historic Collection

Historic Collection

The South London Gallery’s historic art collection contains more than 5,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, coins and textiles. You can view a selection of paintings if you follow the link below.

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Fri 21 Jun