The Survey of London is the nearest thing there is to an official history of London's buildings. From 22 October 2013, after 14 years with English Heritage, the Survey became part of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), and further information about its work can be found here. For the time being the staff are remaining in English Heritage's London offices.
The Survey of London was founded in the 1890s and provides essential reading for anyone wishing to find out about the capital's streets and buildings. It produces detailed architectural and topographical studies, which appear as large, sumptuously produced books currently published by Yale University Press and, supported by English Heritage, in searchable form online on the British History Online website.
The Survey was founded by the arts and crafts architect and thinker C.R. Ashbee and its production was initially a volunteer effort. From the middle of the 20th century it came under the care successively of the London County Council, the Greater London Council and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of England. In the years from 1999 to 2013 when it was a part of English Heritage it produced six volumes on four areas (Knightsbridge, Clerkenwell, Woolwich and Battersea), a monograph on the Charterhouse, and began work on Marylebone, which continues in its new home at UCL.