About Us

With more than one million books and periodicals in over 50 languages, the collection includes works from the 16th century to the latest publications in print and electronic form.

 

P1010291We're delighted to welcome Loyd Grossman CBE who on Thursday 16 March will be giving an illustrated talk to an invited audience on the theme of redefining heritage and cultural value in a post-truth world. As the authority of objective facts is challenged in public discourse today, he will examine how to define what is worth preserving for future generations.

Chairman of the Royal Parks and the Heritage Alliance, a founding member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and an active London Library member, Loyd has made a unique contribution to the cultural heritage sector. His varied career has seen him take leadership roles within English Heritage, the Museums and Galleries Commission, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and National Museums Liverpool, amongst others, in addition to journalism, television and music.

Loyd's talk takes place in our magnificent Reading Room and is accompanied by a drinks reception starting at 6.30pm.

PhilosophyDeep thinkers will be delighted to hear that the London Library Philosophy Group launches on 12 April and will provide a regular forum for discussing topical issues in philosophy. The first meeting is being held between 6pm-7.45pm in the Members' Room and the Group will be meeting every second Wednesday of the month thereafer.

It's free and is open to all members, from complete beginners to those who are well read in the subject. All that is asked is that members are willing to join in the discussion and have read the text that is being discussed which will be circulated in advance of each meeting.

The first meeting will look at themes of personal identity and the mind, inspired by the philosopher Derek Parfit and one of his early papers – “Personal Identity' which is available on JSTOR through the Library’s electronic resources. Using Partfit’s paper as the starting point for the discussion, the group will begin by examining what binds us to our past and future self?

London Library members wishing to attend meetings should register their interest with the group co-ordinator, Library member John Robinson, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a name and contact phone number.

Members will receive further details about the Group, and a reading and resources list which relates to the topic being discussed at the next meeting.

The Group is only open to members of The London Library and numbers are limited to 15 members each meeting.

 

Anglo-Finnish Society donates over 100 books to The London Library to mark centenary of Finnish independence

The London Library was delighted to welcome the Anglo-Finnish Society and guests last night to start the year-long celebrations taking place during 2017 to commemorate the centenary of Finnish Independence. 

AmabassadorAttended by Päivi Luostarinen, Finland’s Ambassador to the UK, this was the first official UK event in the Finland 100 programme (Suomi Finland 100) that will culminate on Finland Day, 6th December 2017 - the 100th anniversary of independence.

At the heart of last night’s event was the donation of an important collection of over 100 contemporary Finnish books that has been made to the Library through the Anglo-Finnish Society. The donation recognises the Library’s historical importance as a home of European and international literature (its shelves carry thousands of books in 25 different languages) and is an important modern addition to its existing Finnish collection, which includes the first New Testament printed in Finnish (dating from 1548), of which only 70 copies were ever made.

The Library built up its Finnish collection up to the Second World War, but its development since had been much more sporadic. The donation of over 100 new books through the Anglo-Finnish Society brings the collection up to date and its impressive range is a fitting reminder of the vibrancy of Finnish cultural life.

Over recent weeks, the new Finnish books have been catalogued and bound, and marked with the Library’s striking 175th anniversary labels. Featuring a wide range of topics - including Finnish Art, Architecture, History, Fiction and Topography – the books will shortly be available on the Library’s shelves for borrowing. Each carries an acknowledgement of Suomi 100 on the inside cover and a list at the back of the benefactors involved.*

Following a fascinating talk on Finland by Professor Henrik Meinander, an opening address by Sir Paul Lever, President of the Anglo-Finnish Society the collection was formally handed to Inez Lynn, Librarian at The London Library. Inez Lynn commented “We are extremely grateful to the Anglo-Finnish Society and the generous donors who have made this important gift possible.  The new books are a wonderful showcase of Finnish culture and the opportunity to grow our Finnish collection is a lasting way of celebrating this centenary year.”

Finland montage

 

Daisy goodwin2After its memorable run on ITV earlier this year, Victoria – the acclaimed new series about the life of the young Queen Victoria – premieres on PBS on January 15th 2017.

The series - and the book that accompanies it - has been written and produced by London Library member Daisy Goodwin and much of it researched in the Library.

We are delighted that on 17th January 2017 Daisy will be hosting an event in New York for members of the International Friends and Founders' Circle groups of The London Library to talk about the series she has created and the role the Library played in its development.

Spaces are very limited but if you would like more information on this fascinating event then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"A DREAM OF AN INSTITUTION"

John McNally

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