Access to the Library’s collections is freely available to the public. No appointment is needed but it is recommended that you do book one in advance of your visit. 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.
Please note that due to essential maintenance the reading room will be closed on 19 September 2023. Access to the exhibition is unaffected
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:
- 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. Please note that there is an ordering limit of 25 items. 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.
No appointment is needed but we recommend that you do book one, using the form below. We will then confirm your booking. If you are unable to make your appointment, please let us know.
If you order material two working days in advance of your visit it will be waiting for you. Furthermore, staff will have the opportunity to advise you about printed collections that are not yet full catalogued, such as the Sion College Library Collection, or about consulting archival collections that are not yet included in the database of archives and manuscripts.
If you decide to order on the day, please note that the last time that you can order material is 3.30pm.
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.