“E libris Dris Kellerman”: On the library of Doctor Kellerman

by Ted Simonds, Project Cataloguer (Sion College Library)


From the 1620s onwards, Sion College Library received donations from a broad swathe of the London citizenry. Aristocrats, merchants, clergy, stationers, parishioners, donors who chose anonymity, and donors otherwise unknown to us constitute Sion College Library’s earliest benefactors. Sion College Library is special in this regard: both as a library of rare and notable books, and as a record of the people who helped create it. What they donated still fills the shelves of the Sion College Library collection today.

As I have hinted above, some donors are more mysterious to us than others. The problem of provenance research is the problem of knowing or not knowing the behaviours and actions of people in the past. As with all such research, observation is accompanied with uncertainty, and you have to let yourself be led by what is in front of you. A series of books has recently emerged, carrying the name of a “D[octo]ris Kellerman”, who I have found to be a German doctor working in Russia at the close of the 17th century. While handling and cataloguing his books, an interesting picture emerges of a medical practitioner, his small collection of books, and the hands they passed through before arriving at Sion College Library.

It is unknown whether Doctor Hendrik Kellerman (also known as Andrei Kelderman) ever visited London or if he knew of or visited Sion College. Nevertheless, an inscription reading: “Ex libris D[octor]ris Kellerman” (or a variation on this) exists in eight books from Sion College Library that we have now catalogued. As a cataloguer of this collection, when such patterns emerge, I turn to the Sion Benefactor’s Book as a place where more information about a donation may be found. The following can be found under the year 1720 regarding Doctor Kellerman’s bequest:

Sion L40.2/E64, p.227
Sion L40.2/E64, p.227

“About this time Mrs. Snow, who had accompanied the lady of Dr. Kellerman, a German physician, to Muscovy, and returned to England after they were dead, gave 18 of the Drs. books to the Library. They are in the Closet next Philip lane.”

From this information, certain assumptions can be made. Kellerman was German. In fact, his father Thomas was Livonian (originating from an area in modern-day Latvia). Kellerman had a wife, who was accompanied by a woman, presumably English, who called herself Mrs Snow. Mrs Snow, a woman working in domestic service overseas, carried at least 18 books (if not more) back to London with her from Russia.

Importantly to us, he also owned books, and 18 of them were given to Sion College Library. Of these 18 so far 9 have been identified. The most recent book, Christoph Besold’s Synopsis Politicae Doctrinae (Ingolstadt, 1643), was found last week. In the course of my normal cataloguing duties interesting books and their provenances are always emerging, testifying to the importance of Sion College Library as a collection, and the importance of the work of cataloguing these books. Doctor Kellerman’s books are as follows:

  • Psalterium Latinum Dauidis prophetae et Regis, Leipzig, 1578. (A26.16/C81 01): bound with: Cantica selecta veteris novique testamenti, Leipzig, 1581. (A26.16/C81 02)
  • Johannes Posselius, Evangelia et epistolae…, Strasbourg, 1592. (A33.9/EV1(1))
  • B.T., Preghiere e meditatione Christiane, Geneva, 1623. (A62.2E/T11)
  • Ludolphus Lithocomus, Vocabulorum et exemplorum, quae per etymologiam Ludolffi Lithocomi, The Hague, 1643. (H15.2/V93)
  • Christoph Besold, Christophori Besoldi I.C. Synopsis Politicae Doctrinae, Ingolstadt, 1643. (D50.4/B46)
  • Johann Michael Fehr, Anchora vel Scorzonera, Jena, 1666. (No longer at Sion)
  • Philipp Kegel, Zwölff geistliche Andachten, Lüneburg, 1669. (A62.2G/K25)
  • Anton Reiser, Sabbathisch- und Sonntägliches Liecht und Recht, Frankfurt am Main, 1677. (A30.3a/R27)
  • Caspar Hermann Sandhagen, Lüneburgisches Gesangbuch, Lüneburg, 1695. (A38.6/L96)

The types of books listed here and what they can tell us about Doctor Kellerman should be regarded with some caution. The nine books represent only half of the total amount deposited with Sion in 1720. While we are hopeful more might emerge, this is not a given. At least one book listed is assumed to have been in Sion College Library, and been given by Doctor Kellerman. In the London Metropolitan Archives collection of Sion College material, a note refers to:

“lists of flowers taken from books of Dr Kellerman (‘e libris Dris Kellerman’) with some accompanying notes. The only book named is Johann Michael Fehr’s “Anchora vel scorzonera”, 1666.” (LMA: CLC/198/SICE/013/MS33531)

The book mentioned is a work of medical botany written by Doctor Fehr about the healing properties of moorland plants found in Schweinfurt, Bavaria. We can say that the book no longer exists in Sion College Library, as there is no entry for it in the card catalogue, neither has it been located in another library carrying Kellerman’s provenance. It is known that Sion College did withdraw a number of medical and scientific texts throughout the 20th century. Doctor Kellerman’s profession leads us reasonably to assume he was in possession of some medical books. Given the scientific subject of this one book, assumed withdrawn, hopes of recovering the remaining 9 (possibly 10) books belonging to Kellerman remain slim.

Scholarly writing on early modern medicine in Russia, which draws on the archive of the Apothecary Chancery in Rusia, offers a picture of Kellerman’s background and professional life. His father was a merchant, an arms dealer and eventually an envoy who was influential at the Muscovite court. Thomas Kellerman had invested financially in his son’s career, taking on debts to fund his son’s education as a medical doctor. Doctor Kellerman studied at the elite centres of medical learning in 17th century Europe: Padua, Paris, Strasbourg, Leipzig and Oxford. It is tantalising to think of the Doctor having had to pass through London, and thus potentially Sion, on his way to Oxford. Indeed, Leipzig and Strasbourg imprints do survive among his books, possibly linking him to these cities. Doctor Kellerman is evidenced as buying books on his travels across Europe, and the signs of use extant in his books show this.

On the verso of the front flyleaf of his copy of Psalterium Latinum Dauidis prophetae et Regis (Leipzig, 1578) is a particularly interesting note. It reads:

A26.16/C81 01
A26.16/C81 01

“Hunc librum ex praedâ Suecici belli solutâ pecuniâ, mihi comperari Plestoviae Ao. 1704. Henricus Kellerman eques divi marci Ph. & Med. Doctor.”

Roughly translated, this reads: “This book was sold after being liberated from the spoils of the Swedish war, I have learned”, and is followed by his location “Plestoviae”, possibly Pleszew (Poland), the year 1704, and his name with what appears to be an honorary title for the order of St Mark, and his credentials as a Doctor of Philosophy and Medicine. We can therefore locate Doctor Kellerman as having been in Poland in 1704, and in the market of buying second-hand books. The ink on the flyleaf is a pink colour found elsewhere in his books. Doctor Kellerman was not the type of person to buy books and not read them, in fact he was a heavy annotator. The characteristic pink ink often used with a range of other inks ranging from a weak brown to a stronger black, enabling us to speculate that he came to his books, ready to annotate, at multiple occasions. His father’s debts were not taken in vain, as Kellerman was clearly a learned man. He was a polyglot, seemingly a bibliophile, and read and annotated his books many times over, adding in his own running titles, verse and line numbers, and bibliographic references. His notes are written in Latin, Greek and other languages in a variety of styles depending on his purpose.

Eve Levin’s 2003 doctoral thesis gives an account of the life of Doctor Kellerman (including the above biography); she summarises Kellerman’s situation as being a foreigner in Muscovite service sent to Europe to train in medicine with the expectation that he would return to serve in Muscovy. Levin describes Kellerman’s return as traumatic. He had forgotten the language and was disappointed at the status his role had, and at his pay being 170 roubles (some physicians earned as much as 1114 roubles) per year. The Latin-Dutch dictionary in his library (H15.2/V93) offers an insight into the Doctor’s internal life, as well as the way he used books and moved through the world. The printed pages are interleaved with blanks, on which Kellerman has made manuscript notes and translations into various other eastern European languages (interestingly in Latin script).

H15.2/V93 and A26.16/C81 02
H15.2/V93 and A26.16/C81 02

Doctor Kellerman worked at the Apothecary Chancery in Moscow from 1673, where he treated the upper classes of society. There are several moments of his career which add colour to his career as a physician. In 1682 he became involved in a murder case in the hospital when his colleague Arnold van Hulst was accused of killing Fedor Neledinskii (a patient). Kellerman performed an autopsy and investigation, the conclusions of which resulted in van Hulst’s exoneration. By 1690 he was working in the ‘Old Pharmacy’, when he was called upon to inspect the medicine production in the ‘New Pharmacy’ (where ordinary Muscovites were treated). It would appear that Kellerman was a well-regarded physician, whose expertise could be called upon to settle disputes and adjudicate medical errors.

This biographical sketch of Kellerman’s life necessarily focuses on his professional life, relying as it does on studies of, and the archives of the Apothecary Chancery in Moscow. We can all agree that our professional lives are but a sliver of our lived lives. What his books tell us is a different kind of history. Kellerman’s books are a case study for how a small collection of books with a common origin and signs of use can enrich, and be enriched by, what is already known from institutional archives. While records survive which tell us what Kellerman (and others like him) did professionally, archives of a person’s interior, linguistic, spiritual, and personal life are less common, especially early modern middle and working classes.

Thanks to the evidence left to us, and the generations of Librarians, archivists, porters and book movers who have transported and kept the books well cared for, we are able to know not only what types of books he read, but how he read them. In addition, thanks to the kinds of records Sion College kept, from early in their life, we are able to know about Mrs. Snow, and her role in preserving this collection. The types of questions we are able to ask of these books are wide-ranging and illuminating. What does it mean that maybe the Doctor collected flowers, sang from a hymn book, seemed curious about the provenance of his books, added page numbers and references to other works in the margins of his Psalter, and that he made his own working dictionary of the Dutch language to suit his own linguistic abilities?

Kellerman’s life story is fascinating, as is the social world that these 18 books have lived in, and continue to live in here at Lambeth Palace Library. We don’t know what the Doctor’s wishes were, if he knew of Sion College, or if he knew his wife’s maid would take his books to London. What we do have is 8 books, with Kellerman’s name in them, which can show us today how someone from 300 years ago read, wrote in, and lived with his books.


We look forward to uncovering more books owned by Doctor Kellerman and donated by Mrs. Snow as the cataloguing of Sion College continues.

For more about Sion College and the provenance of books found there, view the Sion College Library Provenance Project.

To consult one of Doctor Kellerman’s books (or indeed other books in Sion College Library) please email archives@churchofengland.org

Works and items consulted in the writing of this post:

Kees Boterbloem, Moderniser of Russia: Andrei Vinius, 1641-1716. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Claire Louise Griffin, The production and consumption of medical knowledge in seventeenth-century Russia: the Apothecary Chancery. PhD Thesis. UCL, 2012.

Eve Levin, “The administration of Western medicine in seventeenth century Russia”. In Modernizing Moscovy: Reform and Social Change in Seventeenth Century Russia. Jarmo Kotilaine, and Marshall Poe (eds.) Routledge, 2003.

London Metropolitan Archives, Sion College. CLC/198. [Handlist available: https://search.lma.gov.uk/LMA_DOC/CLC_198.PDF]

Philip Longworth, “Russian-Venetian relations in the reign of Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich”, The Slavonic and East European Review. Vol. 64. No.3 (Jul. 1986)

Sion College Library, Benefactor’s Book. (Sion L40.2/E64).

From ‘Not Fit for Production’ to Reading Room ready

A volume of three related pamphlets from 1723 in Sion College Library was severely mould damaged and flagged for conservation treatment. They are about the trial of Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, who was charged with treason for his involvement in a Jacobite plot [Sion Main Quarto D34.1/At8]. The paper lost sizing and fused into a block. Previous attempts to open the book had resulted in numerous tears and losses. In many places the paper was very pulpy and weak. The title page of the first pamphlet was adhered to the inside front cover and the last page was adhered to the inside back cover. The boards of the covers were so degraded that it was crumbling and falling away in chunks.

Inside of front cover showing title page adhered to front endpapers and pastedown.

The covers and pages displayed all the colours and textures of mould I have seen on books across my years as a conservator. It was pink, green, black, and grey. It was powdery, granular and imbedded in the paper fibres. During washing, some of the mould was very slimy and slippery.

Thankfully, the central pages were less severely damaged (i.e. less tears rather than no tears, slightly stronger paper rather than incredibly weak and damaged paper). This shows the protective nature of bindings to the text block. Despite the severe damage, this could, with an intense conservation treatment, be saved.

Degraded state of binding and textblock before treatment. Pages are mould damaged and fused together; cover has many large losses.

The covers were removed and the spine was cleaned with xantham gum. The text block was separated along natural breaks into front, middle and back sections. These three sections could then be treated in successive but separate treatments which would help to retain the order of the pages. Due to the damage, it was not possible to check the collation or note any printing errors before treatment, so it was more essential to be diligent about the order of steps undertaken.

The pages were washed in warm water with a small amount of propanol added to aid wetting. A small fan brush, a thin Teflon folder, and fingertips were all that was used to separate the pages. Creating waves of water around the small openings that were initially available allowed the gentle but strong power of water to do much of the work. My fingerprints were the most abrasive tool to interact with the wet pages. In many places the mould was too firmly embedded in the paper and could not be removed without causing damage. Pristine pages were not the end goal. Instead, the intended result was pages that could be turned and a document that could be issued to readers.

Conservator washing pages. Note acidity being released into the water.

After washing, the pages were resized and further treated for mould with a sizing agent in solvent. The methylcellulose size supported the weakened paper fibres and the solvent helped to mitigate any remaining mould spores. Next, the pages were lined with a 5gsm machine-made Japanese tissue adhered with cooked wheat starch paste. The condition of the pages considerably improved after lining. They could now be easily and safely handled. They were arranged into sections and infills applied as needed. Where possible, detached pieces of the original text were repositioned.

After treatment; pages have been washed, lined, repaired and bound into a simple new structure.

With the paper repairs complete, the pages were sewn on linen thread and bound into a pamphlet binding structure devised by the V&A Museum for one of their pamphlet collections. This structure is clean, modern, and non-adhesive. It is slim and lightweight allowing the three pamphlets to be stored in one box which reduces the amount of shelf space needed while still protecting the items. Additionally, this structure more closely resembles the original nature of these items as three related but distinct texts. This item is now safe to handle and can be accessed in the reading room.

Talitha Wachtelborn, Sion College Collection Conservator

Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745 – 1797), a remarkable man whose life story was of vital importance to the campaign to abolish slavery, was born in the Kingdom of Benin (now a part of modern day Nigeria) and, as a child, was kidnapped, sold into slavery and taken to the New World. Sold to Royal Navy Captain Michael Henry Pascal, he was renamed Gustavus Vassa and was baptised as a Christian in 1759 at the Church of St. Margaret, Westminster Abbey. After being sold twice more, including to a Quaker merchant who allowed him to earn a profit through trading, Equiano would eventually purchase his own freedom in 1766. He saw battle during the Seven Years’ War and was trained in seamanship, going on to travel the world, including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Atlantic, and the Arctic.

Frontispiece and title page of 'The Interesting narrative...'
The Library’s copy of The Interesting narrative… is a first edition and is part of Sion College Library [B79.10/V44].

Equiano’s autobiography ‘The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, written by himself’ (London, 1789) was a huge success and went through many editions in his lifetime.

The first slave narrative to gain popularity among an English audience, Equiano’s autobiography would not only precipitate a literary genre, but become a voice for the growing anti-slave movement in Great Britain. His account of his childhood in Africa and his life as a slave captivated the public, from whom Equiano’s detailed and lucid writing elicited a strong emotional reaction.

Engraving of the shipwreck of the 'Nancy' on Bahama Banks.
An engraving from the second volume depicts the shipwreck of the Nancy, a slave vessel upon which Equiano worked in the Caribbean, and serves as an example of one of the many harrowing episodes he would survive and later write about [B79.10/V44].

Throughout his autobiography Equiano recounted several instances where he was accosted and threatened with violence, kidnapping, and re-enslavement even after becoming a free man. The bleak prospects and cruelties faced by himself and other Africans in the British Colonies, freed or otherwise, were a driving force in his decision to return to England in 1766.

Equiano would later marry a Cambridgeshire woman, Susanna Cullen, with whom he had two children. Moving in both popular and radical circles in the 1790s, he worked with Thomas Clarkson and the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and spoke at many public meetings where he described first-hand the cruelties of the trade alongside advocating for the Black community in London. As a leading member of the Sons of Africa, an early black campaign group, Equiano was a prominent voice for abolition in Britain’s political sphere. Ten years after Equiano’s death, the Slave Trade Act of 1807 finally made illegal the transatlantic slave trade; the practise of slavery in the British Empire would only begin to be phased out with the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833.

Summer 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.  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

magazinesLambeth 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:

Anglican and Episcopal History
Church Monuments
English Historical Review
Families First
Historical Research
Modern Believing
New Directions
Parliamentary History
The Prayer Book Society Journal

newspapersWe also receive the following papers and magazines weekly:

The Church of England Newspaper
Church Times
TLS (The Times Literary Supplement)

Upcoming events

Lambeth Palace Garden Open Days with Great Hall entry and exhibition

Every first Friday of the month until September, 12 noon to 3pm
Next Open Day: Friday 2 August 


An opportunity to visit the Palace’s beautiful gardens and see the progress of the new Library building! Refreshments and entertainment are provided in the garden and there will be plants for sale. The 17th century Great Hall will also be open throughout the Open Days, with a chance to view displays of some of 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.

New Library update

As of July, the Library project remains on time and on budget. The Archbishop topped out the building in May.


The brickwork is nearing completion and is gradually being revealed as the scaffolding comes down.


Over the summer and Autumn most of the work is concentrated on the inside of the building as all the mechanical work progresses inside.


Staff are now heavily involved in planning for the big move of all the archives from the Library and CERC which will be taking place between June to December 2020.

Archive news

Clare Brown awarded The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship

clareThe Library is delighted that Mrs Clare Brown, Archivist, was awarded The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship by Archbishop Welby at the Lambeth Awards 2019, for her work in guiding readers through the archives of the Church of England, and for her exhibitions and scholarly expertise in support of Lambeth Palace Library and three Archbishops of Canterbury. In April, we bid Clare a very long and happy retirement after seventeen years of service at the Library!

Clare’s contribution over the years is too vast to summarise briefly, but we hope to give a sense of her many accomplishments. On joining the Library, Clare completed cataloguing of the papers of Archbishop Ramsey, and then led cataloguing of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) archive. She led work on the collaborative projects on the Library’s important collection of Greek manuscripts, with an exhibition in 2006 and the launch of the catalogue in 2016. She contributed to understanding of the Canterbury Archbishops’ Registers alongside work undertaken by the Borthwick Institute on the York Registers. Her knowledge of the history of ecumenical relations contributed to displays for visitors to the Archbishop from other churches, and her extensive knowledge of the collections and of Church of England history have benefited many Library readers and NCIs colleagues over the years. This is evidenced, not least, by the amount of enquiries Clare answered during her time at the Library – almost 3,700!

We will all greatly miss Clare’s incredible knowledge, helpfulness, her willingness to share her expertise with Library readers and colleagues alike, and especially her sense of humour.

Archival collections news

Papers from 1988 have been released for research, including some 500 files from the papers of Archbishop Runcie and further material on Anglican-Roman Catholic relations from the records of ARCIC II. Descriptions can be searched on the Library’s online archives catalogue.

Further newly-catalogued material includes records of the Lambeth Diploma and Vacation Term for Biblical Study, two initiatives founded in the early 20th century to provide theological and scriptural training for women. Library staff are also adding detail to descriptions of various series of news cuttings and photographs relating to Archbishops Benson (cartoon pictured below), Davidson, Lang and Fisher, which complement correspondence and other papers in the main series. Photographs of Lambeth Palace and garden by Sue Snell are also now catalogued.


An annotated Bible belonging to John Taylor Smith, Bishop of Sierra Leone, was donated to the Library. The Library also received a set of playing cards produced by the Mothers’ Union.

Watercolours from the Library collections can now been seen on the new Watercolour World website.


Recent blog posts have covered a printed work on music from the Sion College collection; a further report on records of the Court of Arches; and a conference on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

A digitised version of Herbert Bosham’s life of Thomas Becket incorporating folios from the Library’s MS 5048 detached from the parent manuscript held in Arras is now available.


The 100th anniversary of the Church Assembly, predecessor of General Synod, occurs in 2019. Aside from the main archive held at the Church of England Record Centre, there are further voluminous sources in the Library collections.

An edition of the household accounts of Archbishop Laud has been published; the original document is held at the National Archives, but complements sources relating to Laud in the Library collections. Readers may be interested in a Salvation Army blog post on the history of Christianity in China; the Library also holds material on the church in China.

In the Conservation Studio

Earlier in the year, a group of students from the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) visited the Library as part of their ‘Material Witness‘ training programme, which examines physical objects in the digital age. The visit was organised by Teresa Lane, PhD student at the Courtauld Institute of Art, who recently completed a six-month CHASE internship working on the Library’s illuminated manuscripts. It gave participants a behind-the-scenes look in the conservation studio and an opportunity to learn about the different approaches and techniques involved in preserving fragile books.


Lara Artemis, Senior Conservator at the Library, led the sessions on medieval manuscripts, examining their materiality and chemistry, as well as their history and provenance. The group were shown the stunningly illuminated 13th-century Lambeth Apocalypse (MS 209) – one of the Library’s treasures – and looked at the kinds of pigments used by the artists. The students even had a go at mixing pigments and painting their own illuminations on vellum afterwards!


The photographs above are taken from the Material Witness blog about the student’s visit to Lambeth Palace Library, which gives plenty more fascinating insights into manuscripts and their conservation.

In other news, we continue to make strides in our boxing and preparing the collections for the move. We’ve now completed around 25,000 boxes for vulnerable items in the collection, including completing the job of cleaning, measuring, boxing and organising the vulnerable Sion College Library collections stored in the Blore, one of our Library storerooms.


Sion College Founder’s Day at Lambeth Palace

Fellows and members of Sion College celebrated its Founder’s Day at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday 9 July. This year’s event included a lecture by Baroness Manningham-Buller, former Director General of MI5, who spoke on the topic of “Intelligence and Ethics”. Evening prayer in the Chapel was followed by a drinks reception in the Great Hall where attendees were able to view an exhibition of some of the newly catalogued items from the Sion College collection, now housed in Lambeth Palace Library. Also on display were books and manuscripts relating to the lecture’s theme, including Reginald Scot’s Discovery of witchcraft (1654) in which the author denounced the prosecution and torture of those accused of witchcraft as un-Christian and irrational, and a 1584 caricature of Thomas Norton, whose ruthless and enthusiastic punishment of English Catholics led to his being nicknamed the “Rackmaster-General”.


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.

April 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.

billyNew 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.  Journal rackA few titles for which we have recently received new issues are:

Upcoming events

Lambeth Palace Garden Open Days with Great Hall entry and exhibition

Every first Friday of the month until September, 12 noon to 3pm

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.  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.

Watercolour of Lambeth Palace

“Mysteries” Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595)

A talk by Professor Nicholas Tyacke (University College London)

Tuesday 8 May, 5.15pm (admittance not before 4.45pm)  

Nicholas Tyacke’s books include Altars Restored: the changing face of English religious worship, 1547-c.1700.  The event is run in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500-1800.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.nicholastyackelambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 4 May. 


Reformation on the Record: the legacy of libraries

Monday 4 June, 2 – 4pm

The dissolution of monastic and pre-Reformation libraries destroyed the established structures of learning, but also provided opportunities for other institutions and individuals to form collections during the following decades. This workshop will explore the development of new libraries (such as Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610) and their role in preserving pre-Reformation books and manuscripts.

Led by period specialists, this workshop will offer you the chance to learn about the aftermath of the Reformation, looking in particular at some original examples of the books and manuscripts which survived the dissolution of the monasteries.

Please come to the Library entrance on Lambeth Palace Road.

This is a joint workshop with The National Archives.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reformation-on-the-record-the-legacy-of-libraries-tickets-43653612129, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org 


New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries

Robyn Adams (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Donations to the Bodleian Library in the Early Seventeenth Century,
Katie Birkwood (Royal College of Physicians Library):
Digging Deeper into the Marquess of Dorchester’s Library,
Jacqueline Glomski (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century

Tuesday 5 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm) 

This event will showcase some recent research on library formation, both public and private, in the seventeenth century. Three short talks will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in seventeenth-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research on seventeenth century libraries and the application of digital methods to this research.

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 www.seventeenthcenturylibraries.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 25 May.

Great Hall

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a lecture and afternoon tea

Dr Peter Blayney: Printing the 1559 Book of Common Prayer: events without precedent

Thursday 5 July, 2.30pm (admittance not before 2pm)

An authority on the history of the early modern book trade, Peter Blayney’s most recent book is The Stationers’ Company and the Printers of London, 1501–1557 (2013).

This meeting, open to Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, will be followed by tea. Friends should book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org  or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 22 June.  Please join the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library http://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/content/friends

xxH5145 A4 1559 sig2A1r

Recently catalogued in the Sion College Library Collection

More and more of the Sion College collection is now available through our online catalogue for you to search – with almost 15,000 items to browse, many of which can be requested in the Reading Room.

Cataloguing continues to reveal not only interesting volumes, but also bibliographic insights into the history of the collection. Recent additions to the catalogue include this 1824 edition of Peter Schmidtmeyer’s Travels into Chile, over the Andes (B17.10/Sch5), which added colour to the cataloguer’s desk with the multiple hand-coloured lithographs which feature in the volume. From scenes of everyday life and cultural activities, to curious wildlife the book is one of a number of works to be found in Sion which examines travel and exploration.


One of the many lithographs to be found in B17.10/Sch5

An elusive armorial ink stamp was found in an early 18th century work called Jus canonicum universum which was written by Anaklet Reiffenstuel (A95.5/R27). Printed in black and featuring a coronet and fleurs-de-lis at its centre, the image is surrounded by text reading: “Scipio prior de Guglielmis”. Do you know anything about this former owner or do you have any ideas about their identity?


Unidentified armorial ink stamp, A95.5/R27

If you’re interested in helping us to identify former owners or interpret inscriptions, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are now over 300 images which have been uploaded to the Sion Provenance Project so far. We’ve already received contributions and suggestions from people across the globe, but there are still plenty of pieces of detective work to be done and you can help. Why not go to the Project page and see what you can do? More images are being regularly added, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Sion Team will be heading to Crieff in May to give a presentation on the Sion Provenance Project at the Annual Meeting of the Independent Libraries Association. The talk will focus on the efforts that have been made to publicise the Sion College collection and engage the wider community through our crowdsourcing initiative. We want to inspire other libraries to engage with crowdsourcing and provenance research and we’re hoping that the Sion Provenance Project might be of especial interest to independent libraries who are seeking a novel means of capturing new audiences and expanding their reach.

Archive news

New acquisitions

The Friends of the Library have acquired a manuscript relating to the family of Daniel Wilson (1778-1858), Bishop of Calcutta, and a diary of Sir Henry Longley (1833-1899), son of Archbishop Longley.


Collections in focus

We continue to mark the centenary of the First World War with a blog post concerning Dick Sheppard, who ministered to soldiers at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and another relating to post-war clergy training. The archive collections document subjects which continue to be topical: the World Council of Churches, which celebrates its 70th anniversary, features in the papers of the prominent ecumenist Oliver Tomkins (1908-92), Bishop of Bristol. The evangelist Billy Graham features in the papers of several 20th-century Archbishops and other collections. Literary associations include the marriage record of the poet John Milton, whose Paradise Lost recently featured on Radio 4, and the writer Henry James, the origin of whose story The Turn of the Screw was told to him by Archbishop Benson at the Archbishops’ country residence, Addington Palace.


The collection continues to support the Archbishop’s ministry, with an image from the Macdurnan Gospels forming a gift during a visit to Ireland. Both the Library and Record Centre feature in a new database recording collections relating to crime and punishment, including records of the National Police Court Mission, a forerunner of today’s probation service.


Archives in print and the media

The 200th anniversary of the Incorporated Church Building Society, whose archive the Library holds including numerous church plans and other images, is marked by a new book. Other publications relating to the collections include an article on a portrait of Martin Luther formerly held in Lambeth Palace (Steffen Weisshaupt, “Anglican (Re-) Presentation? Two Paintings of Luther at Lambeth Palace”, Anglican and Episcopal History, vol 86, no 4, Dec 2017, pp. 396-418).

Free seats

In the Conservation studio…

Conservation StudioThis year in the conservation studio, conservator Alex Wade has been working on a funded project to clean and box 590 books in the early manuscript series. Here’s Alex to give an insight into what is involved in her work:

“These volumes contain some of our most precious and oldest pieces and are filthy. Dirt can penetrate the surface of the text and stain the material.

“I am completing anywhere between two to four books per day, the books get smaller in size as I progress through the series, meaning that I will be aiming to complete up to six books per day in the future. I am boxing one bay ahead of where I am cleaning to ensure that the material is transported safely from the store to the conservation studio. To do this I measure the book height, width, and depth and input those measurements into the Zund cutting machine and create a custom-made box. This protects the material from handling and storage damage, as well as defending it against the fire defence, water misting system we will have in place in the new library.


“To do the cleaning I use a smoke sponge which is a natural material, soft sponge to wipe and dab away surface dirt. It is quite heavy duty and can remove a wide variety of surface debris. Once this has been done I go along the surface with a soft brush called a hake brush to make sure that there is no residue left behind.”


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