Christmas update from the Library and Record Centre

Merry Christmas 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.  These posts provide a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

New books

Enjoy reading one (or more!) of our recently acquired new books. Highlights include:

Magazines and journals

Lambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals. You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too. Some of our recently received titles include:
magazinesChurch Archaeology
Ecclesiastical Law Journal
Ecclesiology Today
The Friends Quarterly
Historical Research
The Huguenot Society Journal
Journal of Ecclesiastical History
Journal of Religious History, Literature & Culture
Modern Believing
Parliamentary History
The Prayer Book Today
Privacy & Data Protection
Royal Historical Society Transactions


We also receive the following papers and magazines weekly:
The Church of England Newspaper
Church Times
The Tablet
TLS (The Times Literary Supplement)

Please note that since October 2019, Lambeth Palace Library is closed on Fridays. This is to give the staff time to prepare the collections for the move to the new library building. Opening hours will be 10am to 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 10am to 7.30 pm on Thursday.


Upcoming events

‘Bishop Symon Patrick (1626-1707) – unsung hero of the Restoration Church of England’

Dr Nicholas Fisher
Thursday 26 March, 6pm (admittance from 5:30pm)

PYT0001 (2)In 2018, Nick Fisher was the first recipient of a Lambeth doctorate after the scheme had been rebranded ‘Lambeth Research Degrees in Theology’.  His thesis explored the writings and career of Symon Patrick from Rector of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, to Bishop of Ely. This illustrated talk will explore the religious tensions of Charles II’s reign and suggest that Patrick’s contribution to the national Church has been unjustly neglected.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at, or email not later than Friday 20 March.

Day conference on the seventeenth-century book collector Richard Smith (1590-1675) and his library


Wednesday 27 May (further details to follow)

Speakers will include Peter Lake, Jason Peacey, Andrew Foster, Vanessa Harding, David Pearson, Alan Nelson and Kenneth Fincham.

The Books of Henry Bradshawe, nephew of the regicide

Professor Alan Nelson (University of California, Berkeley)
Tuesday 9 June, 5:30pm (admittance not before 5pm)

Gate HouseThe name of Henry Bradshawe, and the family seat in Marple, Cheshire, in the seventeenth century, are familiar to bibliographers and to the book trade. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, John Bradshawe the regicide, being childless, bequeathed ‘all my Law Bookes,’ along with books ‘on divinity, history and other books’ to his nephew Henry, who maintained the family library until his death in 1698. This traditional account is an extreme simplification of the true story, which must start with the realization that books from the Bradshawe family library carry the ownership signatures of at least four Henry Bradshawes. Books from the library are scattered across the English-speaking world.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at, or email not later than Friday 5 June.

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a lecture by Professor Richard Gameson: ‘Codex and Colour: the pigments of Lambeth Palace manuscripts’

Thursday 18 June, 2:30pm (admittance not before 2pm)

RichardGamesonOne of the most striking aspects of medieval manuscripts is their ravishing colours. Scientific advances mean that it is now possible, using non-invasive techniques, to identify the pigments that were used to produce the illuminations in question. This lecture will report the findings from recent investigations of illuminations in Lambeth Palace Library, explaining the processes that were used, summarising the pigments that were identified, and contextualising them within broader patterns of medieval and renaissance painting.

This meeting, open to Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, will be followed by tea. Friends should book in advance with Melissa Harrison, Lambeth Palace Library,  or telephone 020 7898 1400.


New Library update

The project remains on time and on budget, and detailed planning for the move is taking place. The scaffolding is coming down on the whole building, with the front elevations now clearly visible.
View from Lambeth Bridger Oct19

View of the Library from Lambeth Bridge

Internally, all shelving units have been installed and the installation of timber bookcases in the Reading Room is also nearing completion.


Shelving units installed

Reading Room shelves

View from inside the east wing Reading Room

Externally, the landscaping works for the Palace are progressing with the brick features and extensive soft landscaping. This will continue into 2020 and will include extensive planting and a wetland habitat. The external landscaping works on Lambeth Palace Road will commence in January 2020 with remodelling of the footpath immediately outside the site (with pedestrian access maintained at all times).

External facade and wetland

External facade and wetland area

Library staff enjoyed visits to the site in November to view the latest progress of the build.


The new Library offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, a few glimpses of which can be seen below:

view from semianr room Oct19
View from the seminar room



Knight Harwood have been running workshops for children at The Evelina Children’s Hospital, as part of the project’s commitment to engaging with the surrounding community. In their latest workshop, on 27th November, patients enjoyed building their versions of the new Lambeth Palace Library out of Duplo and Lego, with the help of the developers from Knight Harwood, teachers from Evelina Hospital School and play specialists. Children and young people, aged 18 months to 13 years old, had a perfect view of the new library, which is being built just across the road from Evelina Hospital, inspiring them to construct their own versions of the building. The full article can be read here on Evelina Hospital’s website, and the children’s designs are on display in front of Evelina Hospital School.


The results of one of Knight Harwood’s workshops with the Evelina Children’s Hospital


Archive news

A large amount of material has continued to be digitised and made available through the Library’s online image gallery. Recent highlights include a range of manuscripts from Sion College (best opened in Chrome):


Sion L40.2L7 f.13r

An English translation of Tacitus’ Annals (MS 683) held by the Library and dating from c.1600 was the subject of an article in the Times Literary Supplement: and other press coverage regarding corrections made by Elizabeth I. The volume has also been fully digitised.

ElizabethMS 683 f.2r

The Library’s archive collections have featured heavily in some recent publications:

Appraisal and cataloguing work continues on the papers of Archbishop George Carey. In addition a range of other material has been catalogued, such as archives of the Nikaean Club, the Liturgical Commission, the Joint Liturgical Group and Lord Wharton’s Charity, and papers of various 19th century Archbishops of Canterbury, Henry Evington, Bishop of Kyushu, and correspondence regarding the Book of Common Prayer (1928).

Staff have hosted a range of visits, ranging from academic institutions such as the Open University and Royal Holloway (University of London) to professional groups such as notaries public.


Lambeth Palace Library and Church of England Record Centre Collection and People Migration Project

Teams are getting-ready for the big move next year to the new Lambeth Palace Library site at the end of the Lambeth Palace Garden, which is due for handing over in April 2020.  In the meantime, planning has been working towards scheduling the move of people and collections across the year 2020; and finishing-off some of the final mapping (where things are going in the new building) and protection (cleaning, boxing etc) of collections.  Activities have included clearing out old kit and equipment (a few skips worth!) both at CERC and LPL; and over 34,000 boxes being made for books moving across to the new library, which also included cleaning them all!

Next steps are working through protection needs for CERC, finishing off Morton’s Tower and ending with protection of the most vulnerable collections in the Great Hall.  Exciting times ahead as next year is a busy move year for us with all Library and Record Centre staff being involved in some aspect of move supervision for collections, kit and equipment.

Atsuko and Erin rotated

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 and Instagram.

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