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.

 

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!

 

 

Lewis GoldenWe received the sad news this week that Lewis Golden died on Friday 27th October, aged 94.

The Library owes an immense amount to him. He served as Treasurer for 19 years (between 1972-1991), Chairman for 4 years (1991-1994) and as Vice President for the last 13 years. 

He was also an incredibly generous donor to the Library, giving extensively towards the Library’s Endowment Campaign in 2012 to form the Jacqueline Golden Endowment in memory of his late wife.

A true friend of The London Library, he will be sorely missed.

 

 

Philip Marshall 4The London Library is delighted to welcome Philip Marshall who takes up his position this week as the new Director of The London Library following the recent retirement of Librarian and Chief Executive, Inez Lynn.

Philip has held senior commercial and business development roles in a number of high profile UK cultural organisations, including the British Museum, Sadler’s Wells and the Royal Albert Hall. His experience in revenue and membership development fits directly with a key area of strategic focus for The London Library as it looks to strengthen its position as the world’s largest independent lending library while enhancing its collection and the services it provides to its members.

Philip commented: “The London Library has been supporting, inspiring and delighting readers and writers for nearly two centuries. I am thrilled to be joining this wonderful organisation.”

Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of The London Library concluded, “We are delighted at the appointment of Philip Marshall who will help ensure that the Library enhances its position as one of the country’s great cultural institutions and centres for learning.” 

 

"PERFECTLY SUITED FOR THE WRITING LIFE"

Lara Feigel

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