Lambeth Palace library go-ahead

Planners approve major scheme


Councillors in Lambeth have approved plans to build a new library and archive building at Lambeth Palace in London – the first new building on the site for almost two hundred years.

The new building, a nine-storey tower, will house the collection of precious books and manuscripts,  originally established in 1610 and believed to be only second to the Vatican library in importance.

It will include a conservation studio, seminar and teaching rooms, a ground floor Reading Room and staff offices as well as exhibition areas and an Upper Room for seminars and a public viewing space.   

One of England’s earliest public libraries, the priceless collection was bequeathed to the nation by Archbishop Bancroft in 1610. The official papers of the Archbishops of Canterbury are among the library's most significant collections, documenting political and social issues as well as ecclesiastical history in Great Britain and abroad.  There are over 4,600 manuscripts and almost 200,000 printed books, including some 30,000 items printed before

The new building brings together the collections of the Lambeth Palace Library and those of The Church of England Record Centre, as well as the archives of national  church organisations such as the Church Commissioners, the General Synod, The National Society for Promoting Religious Education.


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