News & events

Reading Room closure – Lambeth Palace Library & Church of England Record Centre.
Our reading rooms were due to close at the end of April to enable both collections and staff to move into the new Lambeth Palace Library building.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to their closure in March and while it was initially hoped that this would be a temporary measure, it is now clear that we will not be in a position to re-open in the near future. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to remain closed until we have completed the move to the new library.
We look forward to welcoming both our many returning and new readers to the new Lambeth Palace Library in 2021.


Reader survey

In preparation for opening the new Lambeth Palace Library, we are carrying out a survey to assess satisfaction with our services to readers, and to ascertain how we could improve or expand the services that we offer. The information that we hope to gain from this survey will be invaluable in helping us to identify areas in which we perform well and to address areas where we could improve.  In response to previous surveys we have made significant changes to the services that we offer such as introducing evening opening and self-service photography.

If you use, have used or would like to use the Library or CERC, we would be very grateful if you would complete the survey and send your response and any comments to There is a version for the Library and another for CERC. Deadline for receipt of completed surveys: 15 May 2020. Please note that if you respond by e-mail your e-mail address will not be collected or used for any other purpose.


Friday Closure

Please note that from October 2019 Lambeth Palace Library will be 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.

Service Disruption 2020.

In the second half of 2020 Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre will be moving to a new building on the Lambeth Palace site. This will mean that the 30th of April 2020 will be the last day that the Lambeth Palace Library reading room will be open and also the last day the Church of England Record Centre reading room will be open before the opening of the new building in early 2021. There might also be a delay in answering some types of enquiries. Information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available. Please check before you travel and contact us at if you have any questions.



Wednesday 27 May (further details to follow)

Day conference on the seventeenth-century book collector Richard Smith (1590-1675) and his library.
Speakers will include Peter Lake, Jason Peacey, Andrew Foster, Vanessa Harding, David Pearson, Alan Nelson and Kenneth Fincham.

This event scheduled for Wednesday 27 May has now been postponed as the Library is currently closed. For further information please email:


Tuesday 2 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm)
Professor Alan Nelson (University of California, Berkeley): 'The Books of Henry Bradshawe, nephew of the regicide'.
The 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, bequethed '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.

This event scheduled for Tuesday 2 June has now been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. For further information please email:

Thursday 18 June, 2.30pm (admittance not before 2pm)
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'.
One 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 scheduled for Thursday 18 June has now been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and will hopefully be re-arranged for the Autumn; details to be announced later. For further information please email:

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