Chapter 2 outlines the history of the Museum of London (MoL) and its progenitor institutions, the Guildhall Museum and London Museum. It places each within its respective historic contexts. Whilst the development of museums in the nineteenth century was inextricably linked to empire and nation-building, these two museums, their collections and displays revealed no direct acknowledgement of empire or representation of London as an imperial city. However, when the Guildhall and London Museums were amalgamated to form the MoL, a process which began in earnest in the 1960s, empire would play a much more central role in the Museum’s interpretation of London’s history and development.