9th-18th Century Manuscripts (MS 1-1221)

These 1200 manuscripts include most of the mediaeval manuscripts, the Bacon, Carew, and Shrewsbury papers together with the collections of Archbishops Laud, Tenison, and Secker, and of two Lambeth Librarians, Henry Wharton, and Edmund Gibson.

Several catalogues of this material have been published:

Todd, H.J. A catalogue of the archiepiscopal manuscripts in the library at Lambeth Palace (1812)

James, M.R. A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of Lambeth Palace: The mediaeval manuscripts, (Cambridge, 1932).

Ganz, David and Roberts, Jane eds. Lambeth Palace Library and its Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts, exhibition mounted for the biennial conference of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, 3rd August 2007, (London, Taderon Press, 2007). Copies available from Garod Books (email: gomidasinstitute@gmail.com).

Pickering, O.S. & O'Mara, V.M. The Index of Middle English Prose: handlist 13.  Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library including those formerly in Sion College Library (Cambridge, 1999).

The mediaeval manuscripts number over 600, and date from the 9th to the 15th century. Their range and quality are impressive, covering illuminated manuscripts, biblical texts, law books, liturgical and patristic collections, devotional works, saints' lives, sermons, chronicles, cartularies, and letters.

These mediaeval manuscripts, together with a few manuscripts acquired since 1932, are available on microfilm from World Microfilms arranged in 8 sections: 1) Old English, French etc., 2) law, 3) illuminated, 4) humanistic, 5) theology, 6) biblical, 7) liturgy, 8) patristic manuscripts.

Photographs of a large number of the illuminations and rubricated initials in the mediaeval manuscripts may be purchased from the Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London, WC2R 0RN. Permission to purchase copies must first be given by Lambeth Palace Library.

For an additional guide to manuscripts of Canterbury provenance, please click the link on the right hand side of this page.