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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.


Members space new with cast

Welcome to the new 6th floor!

We are very pleased to announce that the new members' space on the 6th floor is now open and ready for members to use.

Situated at the top of the Central stacks, the new suite offers thirteen desk/study spaces, toilet facilities and will provide an alternative location for small-scale member events, leading to less need to hold these in the existing Members’ Room. 

Unlike the rest of the Library the entire 6th Floor Suite is not a strictly silent zone and we’ve created the new spaces as areas where you can work but can also have conversations, including light telephone conversations, where needed. For members needing to carry out long or involved telephone conversations, or communications through platforms such as Skype, there are two separate mobile phone/communication spaces, which will provide more suitable arrangements for heavier communications use than have been available up to now.

Mayfair Times 3 web

We were delighted to find ourselves among the winners at this year's Mayfair Times 'Mayfair & St James's Community Awards', designed to celebrate the area by "recognising the efforts of people and organisations who have made a positive contribution to local life".

The awards ceremony was held at ​Claridges Hotel on 22nd January 2018 and was hosted by actor and TV host Alexander Armstrong. It followed an awards selection made by a judging panel comprising Dylan Jones, editor-in-chief of GQ magazine; Ewan Venters, CEO of Fortnum & Mason; Lydia Forte, restaurant development manager at Rocco Forte Hotels; Jeremy King, joint owner of the Corbin & King restaurants group; and David Gandy, the internationally famous model.

JensenThe London Library was awarded the 'Only in St James's' Award - granted to independent retailers and business i​n the area engaging with the local community - and received a handsome silverware pitcher designed by Mayfair-based Danish design house, Georg Jensen. Inez Lynn - who retired recently as the Library's Librarian and Chief Executive - also featured during the ceremony as one of the three shortlisted​ finalists in the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Library's New Year got off to the best of starts with the announcement that our former Librarian and Chief Executive Inez Lynn, and two of our Vice-Presidents - Antonia Fraser and Alexandra Shulman - all featured in this year's New Year's Honours List.

INEZ CROP 2Inez, who retired in September 2017 after a 29 year career at the London Library - 15 of which were spent as Librarian/Chief Executive - was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Literature and Libraries in London’.



Antonia Fraser edited 1Antonia Fraser, who joined the Library in 1957 and has been a London Library Vice-President since 2012, has had a career as a writer of history, novels, biography and detective fiction spanning more than fifty years which has included winning the James Tait Memorial Prize and the Wolfson Prize for History. In this year’s New Year’s Honours she was awarded the distinction of being made a Companion of Honour for 'Services to Literature'.

Shulman crop3Alexandra Shulman - who was awarded an OBE in 2004 and appointed Vice-President of the London Library last November - was awarded a CBE for 'Services to Fashion Journalism', following a 25 year career as Editor of Vogue.


We’re delighted at their success and that their achievements have been rewarded in this way.

Luther 1To coincide with the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Reformation - commemorating the date on 31st October 1517 when Martin Luther is supposed to have nailed his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenborg - we've been displaying a very rare treasure in our Reading Room.

It's an original 1517 copy of one of the three print editions that were produced within weeks of the theses first appearing.Their effect was immediate and lasting, rapidly spreading debate and dissension across Germany.

Each print edition has its own fascinating characteristics, indicating that they were all produced in haste. Our Petri edition, for example, bears the signs of having been over-inked, while others have very obvious typographical mistakes.

Read our fascinating blog for more on the background behind three documents that changed the world!



Simon Schama


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