July 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.  In this blog series, we post brief updates on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

New books!

Education of Anglican clergy coverHighlights from our most recently acquired modern books include:

Magazines and journals

Journal rackLambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals.  You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too.  A few titles for which we have recently received new issues are:

  • Alcuin Club Joint Liturgical Studies
  • Crucible: the journal of Christian social ethics
  • European Anglican
  • The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
  • Parliamentary History
  • The Prayer Book Society Journal
  • Reformation
  • The Tablet
  • The Tyndale Society Journal


Upcoming events

Lambeth Palace Garden Open Days with Great Hall entry and exhibition

Watercolour of Lambeth PalaceEvery first Friday of the month 12 noon to 3pm, April to September

An opportunity to visit the Palace’s beautiful 11-acre gardens, enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake, and purchase plants and honey from the gardens.  This year, the 17th century Great Hall will also be open throughout the Open Days, with a chance to view a display of highlights from the Library’s collections.  Do come along and bring your friends and family.

There is an entrance fee of £5, which will go to a chosen charity each month, and there is no need to book.


Lambeth Heritage Festival

Library Open Days with Reformation 500th Anniversary exhibition

Great HallMonday 4, 11 and 18 September, 12pm-3pm. At Lambeth Palace Library

Lambeth Palace Library’s collections date from the ninth century to the present day, their broad scope reflecting the Church of England’s involvement in national and international history.   Visit our reading room, talk to our staff, and learn more about our collections and services. There is also a chance to see the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace, which includes an exhibition commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

There is no need to book. Entry is via the Library entrance on Lambeth Palace Rd.  Contact archives@churchofengland.org or 020 7898 1400 with queries. Photo (right) by Jonty Sexton.


Guided tours of Lambeth Palace Library

Friday 1 and 15 September at 11am only.

Conservation workA rare opportunity to see behind the scenes at Lambeth Palace Library. This tour, lasting approximately 75 mins, will include a visit to the conservation studio and talks from archives and printed books staff about the history of the library and its collections, as well as the work that goes on in the library today. There will also be an opportunity to see the Great Hall and an exhibition commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Booking is essential and places are limited to a maximum of 12. Entry is via the main Palace entrance on Lambeth Palace Rd. Contact archives@churchofengland.org or 020 7898 1400 to book.


‘Remembering the Reformation’: launch of a major digital exhibition linked with the Arts and Humanities Research Project

Remembering the Reformation logoThursday 28 September, 6pm (admittance not before 5.30pm). In Lambeth Palace Library Great Hall

Based at the Universities of Cambridge and York, this project explores how the Reformation in Britain and Europe was remembered, forgotten, contested and reinvented. The exhibition is a collaborative enterprise incorporating some of the many treasures of the Cambridge University Library, York Minster Library and Lambeth Palace Library. ZZ1523.1 coverThe launch will include a display and demonstration of the exhibition website, and will be accompanied by short talks by the four members of the project team, Brian Cummings, Ceri Law, Bronwyn Wallace and Alexandra Walsham. Some of the Lambeth items that feature in the digital exhibition will also be on display, together with associated material relating to Martin Luther and the Reformation. This event will be followed by a drinks reception.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend are asked to register with juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 22 September.


‘Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet’: talk by Professor Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford)

Martin Luther printThursday 5 October, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm). In Lambeth Palace Library Great Hall

This event will be accompanied by a small exhibition of material relating to Martin Luther and the Reformation and will be followed by a drinks reception.

A joint event with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. All are welcome, but numbers will be limited and those wishing to attend are asked to register with juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 29 September.


Sion College Library Provenance Project Relaunch!

The Sion College Library Provenance Project has been officially relaunched on an exciting new platform. The site is now available for viewing on WordPress where users are warmly invited not only to look at images of the wonderful and rich provenance evidence that can be found in the Sion College collection, but also to contribute comments which will help us to identify former owners, assist with transcriptions, identify bindings and much more – enabling us to enrich our catalogue records yet further for the benefit of researchers. Please do have a look at the new site – we would love to hear your thoughts and get your input. You can find out more by reading the related blog post, which can be found here.

Sion Provenance Project homepage
New Sion Provenance Project website


On Monday 3rd July we celebrated Sion College Founders Day, where c.100 guests were invited into the Great Hall to view the latest exhibition of Sion material showcasing volumes relating to travel and discovery (which is surprisingly well represented in the collection), as well as introducing some of the former owners of Sion books, such as George Berkeley and John Wall Callcott.

Sion Founders Day
Sion Founders Day, with c.100 guests from Sion College in the Great Hall

Viewers had the chance to see works such as the beautifully illustrated Campi phlegraei: Observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies, written by William Hamilton (Naples, 1776, E61.1/H18). The book documents the late eighteenth century eruptions of Mount Vesuvius and includes numerous hand-coloured plates after the sketches of Peter Fabris, an example of which you can see in the image below. The exhibition also features Athanasius Kircher’s China monumentis, qua sacris quà profanis (London, 1789, B75/K63) which is abundantly illustrated with copper engravings and was intended to give the western world a glimpse of the mysterious and exotic kingdom of China.

Sion display
One of the display cases filled with Sion material which is currently on show in the Great Hall. Hamilton’s Campi phlegraei can be seen on the right

CERC update

MS 186Archbishops’ Commission to Revise the Psalter

Cataloguing of the papers of the Archbishops’ Commission to Revise the Psalter from the 1960s is now finished. Highlights of this collection include letters from CS Lewis and TS Eliot. Here is a link to the collection


Archives news

Newly-catalogued collections

Newly-catalogued collections include various papers relating to ‘episcopi vagantes’ (wandering bishops) and their interactions with the Church of England, complementing existing holdings in this area. For more information, please see the online archives catalogue.

MQ808.G7S8 title pageArchive projects

A project on records of the Court of Arches has been completed. As part of the project to prepare material for the move to a new Library building, certain Library collections have been moved to the Record Centre.

Collections in focus

Further blog posts included a wartime prayer list for Lambeth Palace chapel, and the coronation of George VI eighty years ago.

Archives on display

MU/PHOTO/2/8Images from the Mothers’ Union archive were displayed at a conference on women in religious archives. Various items from the Library’s collections are on display as part of the ‘Battles and Dynasties’ exhibition in Lincoln, including the St Alban’s Chronicle, Richard III’s Book of Hours, a royal genealogy from Adam to Henry VI, and the execution warrant of Mary Queen of Scots. Material on St Alban's Chronicledisplay in the Great Hall on 1 September, which takes place in tandem with the Lambeth Palace garden opening, will include items from the Council on Foreign Relations archive, cataloguing of which is nearing completion.

Archives in print

New publications appeared which relate to the Library’s research areas, including works on the education of the Anglican clergy and on the church of St James, Clerkenwell.

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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