This guest post was written by Dr Naomi Percival, Collections Librarian at Lambeth Palace Library. If you enjoyed this post, learn more about Lambeth Palace Library at their stall at History day!


Image: view of Lambeth Palace Library from Lambeth Palace Road

If you go past on the bus you see a forbidding wall enclosing an array of historic buildings, but if you come inside you’ll discover a wealth of primary and secondary sources for history, ranging from ninth-century manuscripts to recently-published scholarly monographs.


There’s something here for everyone  – beautiful medieval illuminations; current history journals; a rich collection of graphic material; official papers of Archbishops of Canterbury; books owned by royalty; archives of organisations such as the Mothers’ Union and of influential individuals such as John Stott and George Bell.


Image: detail from MS 75, a thirteenth-century apocalypse

The scope of our collections reflects the office of Archbishop as head of the Province of Canterbury, his national and international roles in leading the Church of England and the Anglican Communion worldwide. The Library, founded in 1610 under the will of Archbishop Bancroft, contains some 120,000 books, 40,000 pamphlets, and over 100 current periodicals relating in the main, but not exclusively, to the history of the Church of England and its relations with other Churches both in Great Britain and overseas.

Though our holdings are focussed on the Church of England, they are used to facilitate research into a huge range of topics, including art, architecture, codicology, family history, feminism, literature, music, political history, philosophy, and race relations. For more about our holdings and our work in progress why not follow our social media accounts?

MS 4515 f.85

Image: Archbishop Temple with Churchill (MS 4515 f. 85)

Lambeth Palace Library will have a stand at the History Libraries and Research Open Day 2015 so please come and talk to us!