The archive described below comprises the records of the major institutions which supplied water to the metropolis between 1582 and 1974. Up to 1902 the work was largely carried out by private companies operating under increasing public control (particularly in the nineteenth century) and from 1902 to 1974 by the Metropolitan Water Board under local authority control. LMA holds approximately two thousand linear feet of records including minutes for all the organisations, technical reports, plans, photographs and financial ledgers. The records of each company have been catalogued separately, except in some cases where takeovers occurred, and have been divided into seven broad sections:
The archive also contains records for three organisations which were responsible for sewage disposal and land drainage: the Darenth Valley Main Sewerage Board (ACC/2558/DV), the London County Council (ACC/2558/TW/S) and the West Kent Main Sewerage Board (ACC/2558/WK). The records date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
A (1) Corporate Records - including board minutes, parliamentary and legal papers.
B (2) Accounting Records - these are usually very extensive but do not include stocks and shares records which appear in section A.
C (3) Staff Records
D (4) Water Supply and Distribution Records - including engineering and technical files.
E (5) Purchase Records - including stock books.
F (6) Property Records - many property matters are however dealt with in the legal papers in section A.
G (7) Miscellaneous Records
The records of the Metropolitan Water Board are explained more fully in the section on the Board.