Research Guides

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z –

These research guides provide information on primary and secondary sources held at Lambeth Palace Library and elsewhere relating to particular subject areas.

Anglican Clergy

An introduction for those engaged in biographical research on individuals who have served as members of the Anglican clergy, concentrating on the 17th century onwards, and including archival, manuscript and printed resources.

The Clerical Dress guide gives a brief survey covering Lambeth Palace Library sources for the costume of both pre-Reformation English clergy and post-Reformation Anglican clergy. The Library also holds some material relating to the dress of clergy of other denominations and countries.

Further information on clergy and parish history can be found at the Building on History project.

Archbishops of Canterbury

Lists of all the Archbishops of Canterbury, including dates of birth and death (where known), dates of periods in office, places of burial, coats of arms, locations of wills (where ascertainable from biographical sources), details of images of the archbishops, and sources of biographical information. Click on the attachments to download these research guides. One covers 597-1070, the other 1052 to the present day.

There is also information on where Archbishops were educated, and where their confirmation of election took place.

The Library has also produced specific guides to its sources relating to Archbishops Reginald Pole and Thomas Cranmer.

Architectural History

A brief guide to the archive and manuscript holdings which are of relevance to the study of architecture.

See also the Church Heritage Record.

Further help can be found at the Building on History project.

Black, Asian and other UKME history

This guide is an attempt to survey some of the material in the Library’s collections which relate to Black, Asian, and other groups which have historically constituted minorities within the UK population (UKME – United Kingdom Minority Ethnic) and within the Church of England.

Guidance for local historians, including sources widely available and sources held at Lambeth Palace Library relating to individual counties.

Catholic Apostolic Church

Information on this religious movement, originating in England in 1831, and often referred to as Irvingism.

Church Administration

Information on the extent of the diocese of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s peculiar jurisdiction.

Details of papers held by the Library relating to medical licences issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury between 1535-1775, through the Vicar General or the Faculty Office.

Information on visitations carried out by Archbishops of Canterbury and Bishops of London, and the related records held by the Library.

Lists of Lambeth degrees, granted by the Archbishop. There are some chronological gaps in the early records. Note that the National Archives class C 58 (Chancery dispensations, from 1595) also includes information on Lambeth degrees.

Guide to legal sources within the Library’s collections. 

Guide to key sources on the Church of England and the First World War.

Further information can be found at the Building on History project.

Church Property

Information on sources held at Lambeth Palace Library relate to many aspects of the history of church property.

The records also include various maps which are summarised in an additional research guide.


Research guide giving summary biographical information on some deaconesses, and brief guidance on sources for the deaconess movement.

Diocese of London

The Building on History project, a collaboration between Lambeth Palace Library, the Open University and King’s College London, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has produced an online historical guide for researching the history of the Diocese of London.

Click here to access the guide.

Education Sources

Information on sources held at Lambeth Palace Library relating to many aspects of the history of education.

Further information may be obtained at the Building on History project.

Family History

An overview of the sources held at Lambeth Palace Library for family history and genealogy, although the Library is unlikely to be the best starting point for such research.

The Library holds a small amount of marriage records, principally bonds and allegations relating to those married by licence issued under the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Library has produced a separate guide to this material.

Additional information can be found at the Building on History project.

Please note that only rarely do the Library’s records refer to specific individuals employed at Lambeth Palace.

Jewish Sources

Information on sources held at Lambeth Palace Library relating to Judaism and Jewish history, with a focus on the interface between the Church of England and Judaism.

Kings and Queens

Information on manuscript and printed sources held at the Library which have particular relevance to the lives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor and Mary Stuart.

The Library has also produced a guide to the sources it holds on royal coronations, principally of British monarchs, but also from earlier periods and overseas.

Lambeth Palace Library

For more information on the Library Records, 1610-1785, including details on catalogues, shelf marks and other evidence for the history of the Library collections, see the research guide. A further guide covers the period 1785-1952.

See also a selective bibliography of books and articles which detail the history of the Library, including its work and its buildings.

Queen Anne’s Bounty

The Church Commissioners undertook to research into historic links into transatlantic chattel slavery. The resulting report is available here. This involved looking at the origins of the Commissioners’ endowment fund, which was based partly on the funds of its predecessor body Queen Anne’s Bounty (QAB), dating back to 1704.

The main report includes information about the methodology of the research, but this brief document provides some guidance about the archival sources on which this research and report was based.