February update from the Library and Record Centre

Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre regularly embark on new projects and acquire and catalogue new material, from rare books and manuscripts to modern publications.  Every two months, we post here a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

This month’s new accessions

Some highlights from our recent new acquisitions include:


Upcoming events

London’s Unseen Chapels: From the Notebooks of Canon Clarke

Wednesday 22 March, 6pm-8.30pm (admittance, by ticket only, from 5pm)In Lambeth Palace Library Great Hall.

Page from Canon Clarke's notebook (Clarke/1/1)

An event to celebrate the life and work of Canon Basil Fulford Lowther Clarke (1908-1978). From the age of fifteen, Basil Clarke kept a record on the architecture and architects of Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches and Chapels which he visited, predominately in England and Wales but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Lambeth Palace Library, and the Church of England Record Centre, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, are mounting a joint exhibition which brings to life the hidden world of London’s chapels.

The event will include a lecture by Dr Jennifer Freeman, architectural writer, lecturer, historian and former Director of Historic Chapels Trust, entitled ‘London’s Churches and Chapels; a Miscellany’, followed by a wine reception. Please follow the link to register your interest for this free event: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/londons-unseen-chapelsfrom-the-notebooks-of-canon-clarke-tickets-31716408632

An evening with the Library’s Conservators

Thursday 6 April, 6pm-7.30pm (admittance not before 5.45pm).  In Lambeth Palace Library conservation studio.

Conservation studio
Library conservation studio

An opportunity to view the conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff.

Tickets £10 per head, to include a glass of wine. Numbers will be limited. Please note that the conservation studio is reached by a medieval spiral staircase. Please book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org  or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 31 March. 

Liturgical Books and the Medieval Library: A talk by Dr Tessa Webber (Trinity College, Cambridge)

Tuesday 6 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm). In Lambeth Palace Library Great Hall

MS 455 f.28: Sarum Hours
MS. 455 f.28

It has long been conventional in the history of books and book collections of the Middle Ages to draw a distinction between liturgical books and library books. In practice, however, the use made of the books and the arrangements for their storage and custody suggest that the distinction was sometimes less clear-cut. Tessa Webber will examine such evidence to question how far the conventional bi-partite categorisation of books as ‘liturgical’ and ‘library’ reflects the way in which books were conceived during the Middle Ages.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. All are welcome, but those wishing to attend are asked to register with juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Monday 5 June.


Archives news: Runcie Papers, CFR, library records and digitised Book of Hours

Portrait of Archbishop Runcie from Lambeth Palace
Portrait of Archbishop Runcie from Lambeth Palace

Records from 1986 which form part of the papers of Archbishop Runcie were released for research. Cataloguing work was completed on the records of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) relating to the Orthodox Church in Russia and the Ukraine, and also included the CFR publications bureau which facilitated contact between clergy and others in the UK and contacts overseas. Descriptions of the photographs in the CFR archive are now also available. For more information on these collections please see the online archives catalogue. Work to re-catalogue the Library’s historic records 1785-1952 has been completed and has produced a new source guide on the Library website.

Additions to the image database include MS 3338, a late 15th-century Book of Hours (Use of Rome), written in Italy in humanist script. Further blog posts relating to the Library’s collections on the First World War cover army chaplains, and the ration book of the Lambeth Librarian, Claude Jenkins. Library material continues to feature on the website of the John Newton Project.

Record Centre update: Queen Victoria Clergy Fund, Hospital Chaplaincies Council, Mowbray Wippel and Warham Guild papers

The collections listed below have been fully catalogued. Links to the online catalogue are included in the names.

  • Queen Victoria, from Prints 023/142
    Queen Victoria, depicted in Prints 023/142

    Queen Victoria Clergy Fund – formed to raise support and funds both from diocesan bodies and the laity to augment the incomes of poor clergy, similar to the efforts made by Queen Anne’s Bounty (founded in 1704) and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (founded in 1836). It emerged directly from two lay organisations dedicated to ameliorating clerical hardship – the Tithe Redemption Trust (or Fund) in 1846 and the Church of England Incumbents’ Sustentation Fund in 1873 – both of which were ultimately absorbed into the Queen Victoria Clergy Fund (in 1899 and 1897 respectively). This collection contains materials relating to the operation of the QVCF and its subsidiary funds between 1848 and 1995,

  • Hospital Chaplaincies Council The Hospital Chaplaincies Commission was appointed by the Church Assembly in 1946 to enquire into the Church’s ministration to mentally ill people in institutions, to consult with the Minister of Health re. the future of the provision of such a service in the National Health Service (NHS), the specific training for the role, and the status of chaplains in other types of health institution.
  • Mowbray Wippel and Warham Guild papers This collection comprises designs and photographs of completed works by church furnishers A.R Mowbray and Company Limited; brochures and catalogues of church furnishing companies including A.R Mowbray, and material relating to the Warham Guild prior to its merger with Wippell Mowbray Church Furnishing Limited.

‘Books and their owners’: recently exhibited items from the Sion College Collection

Owl illustration from [A68.7/K52]
This week, an array of material from the Sion College Collection (now held at Lambeth Palace Library) was showcased in an exhibition focussing on books and their owners.  Highlights from the exhibition included:

  1. Eastern Orthodox Church. Pentēkostarion, Moscow, 1704 [A32.2/P38] Some of the books in the Sion College collection have travelled great distances over their long lives. They have crossed borders, survived wars and conflagrations, and passed through the hands of numerous owners. Inscriptions on the endpapers of this Russian liturgical text record that it was taken from Sebastopol during the Crimean War on 9th September 1855, the day after the fall of the Great Redan. Removed by Charles Kinnear, surgeon on HMS Rodney, it was then gifted to the Scottish epidemiologist, Dr James Ormiston McWilliam, who served as medical officer to the Niger expedition. The book arrived in Sion College in 1867 through an acquaintance of McWilliam’s, the Reverend Joseph Maskell.
  2. Antiquae musicae auctores septem Graece et Latine, Amsterdam: Louis Elzevir, 1652 [G81.1/M47] Though long regarded as a key work on the history of Ancient Greek music, the Sion copy of Antiquae musicae auctores septem Graece et Latine is especially notable for the rich provenance that it displays. As well as extensive marginalia, on the front flyleaf of the book there is a manuscript inscription which reads “J W Callcott. Bought of Mr. Faulder Bond St. out of the collection of Dr. Shepherd, Canon of Windsor” and it has proved possible to trace each of the individuals named and thereby understand the intriguing hands that the volume has passed through during its history. John Wall Callcott (1766-1821) was a renowned English composer, famed for the glees that he composed including Drink to me only with thine eyes. He purchased the book from Robert Faulder (1747/48-1815), a bookbinder and bookseller who operated from New Bond Street in the late 18th century, who was once hauled to court under suspicion of libel. Faulder acquired the book from the collection of Dr Anthony Shepherd (1721-1796) who rose to fame as an astronomer and held the position of Plumian Professor at the University of Cambridge from 1760 until his death in 1796. Described by one of his contemporaries as “dullness itself”, a little colour is added to his character through his friendship with Captain Cook, who named the Shepherd Islands after him. This brief example illustrates well the intriguing links and unexpected histories that can be uncovered through cataloguing.
  3. The alchemist's laboratory, seen in [A68.7/K52]
    Khunrath, Heinrich. Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae, Hanau, 1609 [A68.7/K52] Heinrich Khunrath (c.1560-1605) was a German physician, philosopher and influential alchemist who worked in the court of Emperor Rudolph II. His most famous work is the Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae [Amphitheater of eternal wisdom], a treatise on the mystical aspects of Christianity and alchemy which contains the engraving entitled “The first stage of the great work”, better-known as the “Alchemist’s laboratory”. This copy came to Sion College from the extensive library of Edward Waple (1647-1712), Vicar of St. Sepulchre’s and Archdeacon of Taunton. A lifelong bibliophile with a fine taste in books, Waple left more than 3,000 volumes to Sion College Library in his will. 


Screenshot from ColorOurCollections
Screenshot from ColorOurCollections

This year Lambeth Palace Library contributed to the #ColorOurCollections initiative spearheaded by the New York Academy of Medicine. Not only did we use the hashtag to highlight Lambeth Palace and Sion College Library material on social media (joining some 3,755 tweets on Twitter), but we also registered as one of 105 participating organisations on the main website and submitted a sample of colouring book pages for users to download and enjoy. Thus far the website has received over 300,000 views and has gained some media interest. You can see Lambeth’s contribution here (http://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/participating-institutions/), but there are plans for a larger scale project form Lambeth in the future.

Don’t forget you can also keep up-to-date with our news and events, and enjoy glimpses of some of the treasures in our collections by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as well as on our blog.

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