Have you got engineering ancestors? If so, then the engineers’ records at the mechanical, electrical and civil engineering institutes in London are well worth a visit.
Engineering professions expanded massively in the 19th century and people applied for membership and then took examinations, which were set by the Institutes. The directories and ledgers held at the Institutes show the professional careers of engineers both before and after they joined up, who they worked for and what they did, both within the UK and overseas. The records have also helped memorialize Institute members who fought in the World Wars and tragically lost their lives.
I would definitely recommend to anyone who has an engineering ancestor to pay a visit to the Institutes and look through their directories and ledgers. And even if you don’t find an ancestor, they are tremendously rich records, which provide a real insight into what life was like for engineers during the golden age of Victorian engineering and beyond.