The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, which continues today as the children's charity Coram.
The Museum has two principal collections, the Foundling Hospital Collection and the Gerald Coke Handel Collection. The Foundling Hospital Collection relates primarily to the history of the Foundling Hospital between its foundation in 1739 and its closure in 1954. The Collection includes significant paintings, sculpture, prints, manuscripts, furniture, clocks and historical documents.
The Gerald Coke Handel Collection relates to the life and work of the composer George Frideric Handel. The Collection was assembled by Gerald Coke and includes manuscripts, printed books and music, ephemera, coins, medals and art works from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.
The Foundling Museum also tells the story of the 25,000 children who passed through the Hospital. The Hospital’s administrators maintained a high standard of record keeping and whilst some important documentation dealing with the children's lives is on display at the Museum most is contained in the Foundling Hospital Archives housed at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). This collection of paper records, including personal data and Governors’ minutes now occupies eight hundred linear feet of shelving at the LMA.
Please navigate through the links on the left to explore the Collections, find out about the history of the Foundling Museum and browse recommended research resources.
Images: Foundling girls at prayer in the Chapel, c.1855 by Sophia Anderson (1828-1903), oil on canvas © Coram in the care of the Foundling Museum
George Frideric Handel, 1739, terracotta bust by Louis Francois Roubiliac 1695-1762 © Coram in the care of the Foundling Museum