Lambeth Palace Library

Lambeth Palace Library
Lambeth Palace Road
London
Greater London
SE1 7JU
England

Website

www.lambethpalacelibrary.org

E-mail

archives@churchofengland.org

Telephone

020 7898 1400

Fax

020 7898 1043

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
venue representative image
Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Lambeth Palace Library is the historic library of the Archbishops of Canterbury and the principal library and record office for the history of the Church of England. The Library focuses on ecclesiastical history, but its rich collections are important for an immense variety of topics from the history of art and architecture to colonial and Commonwealth history, and for innumerable aspects of English social, political and economic history. It is also a significant resource for local history and genealogy.

The Library was founded as a public library by Archbishop Bancroft in 1610, and its collections have been freely available for research ever since. The entire collection of this library is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Library, Sacred space, Historic house or home, Archive

Opening hours

Access to the Library's collections is freely available to the public and appointments are not necessary. However, on their first visit users must obtain a library ticket. Tickets are valid for two years and allow access to all classes of material with the exception of some restricted material. In order to be issued with a ticket, readers should bring the following: one piece of photo ID and one proof of address. Church of England clergy with entry in the current Crockford's Clerical Directory do not need to bring evidence of address.

Opening hours are from 10am to 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 10am to 7.30pm on Thursdays. Last document orders are at 4.30pm (including Thursday evenings). If you intend to arrive at the Library after 4.30pm on Thursday please order your material 48hrs in advance. This can be done either in the reading room or by emailing archives@churchofengland.org. Please note that Library is closed on Mondays.

The Library is closed on public holidays, for 10 days at Christmas beginning on Christmas Eve, for ten days at Easter beginning on Good Friday, and exceptionally at other times.

Admission charges

No charge for use of the Library collections for research.

Getting there

The Library is situated on London's Lambeth Palace Road, near Lambeth Bridge, on the south side of the River Thames. The entrance is the door set into the wall. On the right hand side there is an entryphone. Press the button and wait for a member of staff to speak to you. Push the door when asked to by the member of staff.

The nearest Underground stations are Westminster, Vauxhall, Lambeth North and Waterloo.

Bus routes stopping outside the Palace include number 507 which runs between Victoria and Waterloo stations.

Additional info

The catalogues of archives and manuscripts and printed books are available to search online. The Church Plans Online database offers digitised images of over 13,000 plans in the archive of the Incorporated Church Building Society.

As part of the First World War Centenary a digital timeline of Archbishop Davidson and the First World War is now available giving an insight into some of the Archbishop's main preoccupations and causes during the war and illustrated with images of material held by the Library on such topics.

Microfilm and microfiche readers and an ultra-violet lamp are available. Readers may use their own laptops in the reading room and wi-fi access is offered.

Tea and coffee are available in the Library, and readers are welcome to bring refreshments to consume in the refreshment area.

Please contact the Library in advance concerning facilities for the disabled.

The Lambeth Palace Library holds the manuscripts and printed books of the archiepiscopal collections and the record office for the archives of the Archbishopric of Canterbury. This collection is a Designated Collection of national and international significance to the understanding of organized religion and the influence of the Church of England on the life of the nation.

Collection details

Social History, Religion, Literature

Key artists and exhibits

  • Archbishops' archives including Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Archives of bishops, churchmen and societies
  • Printed books
  • Sion College
  • Designated Collection
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.
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Archbishop Davidson and the First World War

http://archives.lambethpalacelibrary.org.uk/timeline/index.html

As part of the First World War Centenary the Library has produced a digital timeline on Archbishop Davidson and the First World War which gives an insight into some of the Archbishop's main preoccupations and causes during the war and is illustrated with images of material held by the Library on such topics.

Getting there

The Library is situated on London's Lambeth Palace Road, near Lambeth Bridge, on the south side of the River Thames. The entrance is the door set into the wall. On the right hand side there is an entryphone. Press the button and wait for a member of staff to speak to you. Push the door when asked to by the member of staff.

The nearest Underground stations are Westminster, Vauxhall, Lambeth North and Waterloo.

Bus routes stopping outside the Palace include number 507 which runs between Victoria and Waterloo stations.

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