The records of Coram and the Foundling Hospital, held at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) include entrance registers, medical records, letters from mothers and other documents dating back to Thomas Coram’s campaign to establish the Foundling Hospital.

Our organisation’s 275-year history is preserved as a continuous record, on over 240m of shelving, giving unique insights into how the problems and dangers faced by vulnerable children have changed – or have remained the same – across the centuries.

Children’s needs never change but understanding of the best ways to meet those needs has altered radically through the years. Our archives give a perspective on those changes, showing how Coram has reflected contemporary thinking and pioneered good practice in helping vulnerable children.

Digitising our archives

Around 25% of the archive collection will be digitised over the course of the next three years. Work is underway on this and we are looking for your help to transcribe the content of these valuable records.

Once digitised and transcribed, these records will be available for free for public access on this website.

Throughout our Voices Through Time programme, young people with experience of the current care system will be engaging with our archive by taking part in 10 creative projects, including spoken-word performances, developing a short film and theatre productions. These projects will help reveal the history of the care system and encourage care experienced young people to engage directly with the archive and enrich the ongoing story of care by adding their own voices. Find out more and get involved in these projects.