The collection of paintings in Ealing Local History Centre derives from the collections of the library services of the former local authorities which make up the London Borough of Ealing, as founded in 1965, as well as subsequent additions. Ealing Free Library, founded in 1883, relied to an extent on public donations of books and magazines. Donations of paintings followed. These were housed with the reference library stock in the Local Collection. Paintings were often displayed in libraries or in other council owned buildings. After 1965 the paintings were brought together under the care of the Local History Collection and were all stored in Ealing Central Library. In more recent years, a collection policy was drawn up to stipulate that only paintings of local scenes, local individuals and events are to be collected. Owing to lack of exhibition space, very few are now on general public view, but all can be seen on request. Eight have been put on permanent exhibition at Ealing Town Hall.