About the Collection

The Lambeth Palace Library collections (excluding Sion College collections) contain some 120,000 books, 40,000 pamphlets, and over 100 current periodicals relating in the main, but not exclusively, to the history of the Church of England and its relations with other Churches both in Great Britain and overseas. 

The core of the collection of early printed books was bequeathed by the Library's founder, Archbishop Bancroft, in 1610 and includes books belonging to some of his predecessors, namely Cranmer, Grindal and Whitgift. 

The collections have been enlarged by gifts from successive archbishops, especially Abbot, Sheldon, Tenison, Secker, and Davidson, by the acquisition of the libraries of the Dutch Church and Church House, and by a judicious policy of purchase by recent librarians.  Many of the books and pamphlets relate to or amplify the archives and manuscripts.