Registering and booking

Please note that the Library will be closed for staff training on Tuesday 29 November. There will be no access to the reading room or to the exhibition.

Access to the Library’s collections is freely available to the public by appointment. On their first visit users must register as a reader. Registration is valid for two years and allow access to all classes of material with the exception of some restricted material.

Register as a Reader

In order to be registered, readers should bring the following: one piece of photo ID and one proof of address. Church of England clergy listed in the current Crockford’s Clerical Directory do not need to show proof of address.

Readers should present one piece of ID from each of the following lists:

Photo ID
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Police/customs/Home Office/warrant card
  • Forces ID card
  • Expired Lambeth Palace Library card
Proof of address
  • Recent (less than 3 months old) utility bill (Gas, Electricity, Telephone, Water)
  • Recent (less than 3 months old) bank/building society statement.
  • Credit card statement
  • Council tax bill/council rent book, state pension book
  • Benefit/family credit book
  • Passports (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • Driving licence (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)

Please note that if an item appears on both lists it can only be used once.

Restricted material is identified as such in the online catalogues. For this material, surrogates (e.g. colour microfilm) are usually produced. Readers wishing to consult the originals should contact the Library in advance, in writing or by email, to request permission, explaining the nature of the research and why access to original material is necessary.

Members of staff of the National Church Institutions should bring their staff pass, which will be valid for all classes of material with the exception of restricted material such as illuminated manuscripts.


Pre-ordered material will be ready on arrival. To order further material use the slips provided at the issue desk/on the reading room tables. Please fill in all details as failure to do so may delay the retrieval of your material. Orders will be processed and fetched at the following times: 10.30 am
Orders placed after 3.30pm will be ready for the next day. Please note that there is no fetching service on Thursday evenings. If you are staying for the evening session please place your orders by 3.30pm. If you intend to arrive after 3.30pm on Thursday please ensure that you order in advance.

When your material is ready a member of staff will bring it to you. Five items may be issued at any time but you may order more. Un-issued items will be kept at the issue desk until an item is returned and then will be issued.


If you would like to consult the collections you will need to make an appointment using the form below. We will then confirm your booking. If you are unable to make your appointment, please let us know. Please give at least 2 working days’ notice and check the references of the items you wish to see. Please note that while masks are no longer compulsory in the reading room or library in general, patrons are encouraged to wear one and they will be available at reception and the issue desk.