Friends of Lambeth Palace Library

 The Friends of Lambeth Palace Library was founded in 1964 as a focus of support for the Library, and to help in adding to its collections for the benefit of present and future generations. The Friends brings together like-minded people with an interest in the Library's history and collections, and provides invaluable assistance in the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts and in conservation. Friends receive a copy of the Library's annual report, which includes information on all the Library's activities, as well as details of books and manuscripts acquired during the year.

 The annual meeting of the Friends, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is usually held in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace Library each summer, and is followed by a lecture by a well-known scholar, to which all Friends are invited. The 2014 Friends’ lecture took place on 12 June in the Great Hall. The speaker was Dr Michael Snape (Reader in Religion, War and Society, University of Birmingham). His talk was entitled The Church at the Front: the Church of England and the British soldier in the First World War. The annual lecture is open to all members of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library and invitations are usually sent out in May.

 Other events are arranged throughout the year. We are now fortunate enough to have a new volunteer organizer, John Critchley, who will be reviving events at Salisbury and St. Paul's, and investigating new possibilities including the Royal Armouries. Details concerning visits are attached to the right. (Please be patient; attachments can be very slow to load.) 

 Lectures to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Friends will take place in the Guard Room at 6 p.m. on Thursday 9 April, "Fifty years of collecting by the Friends: a personal choice", by Giles Mandelbrote, the Librarian, and Thursday 30 April, "Friends' acquisitions and the Archbishops of Canterbury", by archivist Matti Watton. Tickets, to include a glass of wine, are £10 for one lecture and £15 for the two. On 2 June there will also be a History of Libraries Seminar at Lambeth Palace Library: "Painters, limners, writers, and bookbinders: Matthew Parker's printed books", by William Hale, Rare Books Specialist, Cambridge University Library. For further details and ticket information, see the attachment to the right.

 Printed books presented by the Friends have included the famous indulgence of Leo X issued in 1516 on the eve of the Reformation, a presentation copy of Luther's tract against Henry VIII printed in 1522, the very rare Book of Common Prayer of 1559, the first prayer book of Elizabeth I, and the first English edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs of 1563. 

 Manuscripts have included letters and papers of Archbishops Arundel, Sancroft, Manners Sutton and Howley, papers relating to the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and an important series of documents removed from the study of Archbishop Laud after his arrest and recovered with the help of the Friends more than 300 years later.

A list of items presented by the Friends and information on how to leave a legacy are attached to the right.

Please join the Friends so that, with your help, the Library may continue to develop and flourish. Click on the link to the right for a membership application form, which can be printed out.

Alternatively write or email to the addresses below for a copy of the application form and the Friends' brochure which adds more details (though this can also be checked and printed out from the links to the right).


Friends of Lambeth Palace Library
Lambeth Palace Road

tel: +44 (0)20 7898 1263 

fax: +44 (0)20 7898 1043

(N.B. Due to ongoing IT upgrading, the Library Friends' email address above does not always function at present. If you do not receive a reply or there is some other problem, you may use the Membership Secretary's personal Church of England email