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 will remain open for the duration of the window replacement project. We will try to keep disruption to members to a minimum, but there may be some increased noise and activity.

The St. James's Building book stacks will be kept as accessible as possible, but some desks may not be in use and some shelves may have a protective covering. The desks overlooking St. James's Square will remain available, but the area may be warmer, noisier and dustier than usual. 

Window replacement is scheduled to take four weeks. Scaffolding will start going up on Monday 9th July and building work should be complete by the end of August. If you encounter any problems, or need help accessing books or finding a working space, please do speak to a member of staff. 

THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated to the Windows Appeal. Your support is so important to the Library, and has helped make this vital project possible. You can still donate to the Appeal. All funds raised will go towards the replacement of the windows or subsequent improvements to the St. James's Building book stacks. Donate online here, or using a donation form available from reception. 

 

The London Library is collaborating with the Bloomsbury Institute, the public events series created by Bloomsbury Publishing, on a series of events this summer and autumn.

The London Library and the Bloomsbury Institute are delighted to be working together on a vibrant series of literary occasions, which will embrace the strengths of the Library’s 1 million-strong lending collection and the excellence of Bloomsbury’s publishing.

The first three events, featuring Bloomsbury authors Diane Atkinson, Mohammed Hanif and Agnès Poirier, will be held in the elegant Reading Room of the London Library in 2018 before an audience of avid readers, writers and academics, and will be followed in early 2019 by events at Bloomsbury’s elegant headquarters on Bedford Square.

Philip Marshall Director of The London Library comments:

“We are delighted to be working with the Bloomsbury Institute, an independent publisher with an inspiring range of books and authors. The series of events we have co-curated promises to be thought-provoking and entertaining and we are excited to welcome new audiences into The London Library, a place of inspiration for so many. We look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the Bloomsbury Institute over the years to come."

Nigel Newton, Founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing comments:

“I’m very pleased about this new partnership of the Bloomsbury Institute with The London Library. As a library where many Bloomsbury authors research and write their books, this collaboration is a good one. We look forward to staging author events together in the months and years to come.”

The London Library and Bloomsbury Institute Events Programme:

Atkinson RiseUpDiane Atkinson, The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes

5 July 2018, The London Library

Marking the centenary of female suffrage, Diane Atkinson discusses her definitive history Rise Up Women!, charting women's relentless fight for the vote through the lives of those who took part.

Diane Atkinson is the author of two illustrated history books and three biographies and is a regular lecturer and commentator on the suffragettes at conferences, literary festivals and in the media.

Hanif RedBirdsMohammed Hanif, Red Birds

11 October 2018, The London Library

Dubbed 'Pakistan's brightest voice' by the Guardian, bestselling prize-winning author, Mohammed Hanif, discusses his brand new novel, Red Birds, a powerful work about war, family and love.

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. His second novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, was shortlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Prize. He writes regularly for The New York Times, The New Yorker, BBC Urdu, and BBC Punjabi.

Poirier LeftBankAgnès Poirier, Left Bank Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-1950

8 November 2018, The London Library

Agnès Poirier paints a captivating portrait of those who lived, loved, fought, played and flourished in Paris between 1940 and 1950 and whose intellectual and artistic output still influences us today.

Agnès Poirier is a Paris-born and London-educated journalist, writer, critic and broadcaster. She is an authority on the different ways in which France and Britain do things, a topic she frequently discusses on the BBC, Sky News and CNN and writes about in, among others, The Observer, The Times, Marianne, Télérama and L’Espresso

All events are open to The London Library members and non-members. To find out more and to book tickets, visit: http://www.londonlibrary.co.uk/about-us/whats-on

SchamaWe're delighted that historian and broadcaster Simon Schama and novelist Kazuo Ishiguro have been honoured with knighthoods in the June Birthday Honours list. Both are longstanding members and supporters of The London Library - Simon Schama joined as a life member in 2004 and Kazuo Ishiguro has been a member since 1985.

ishiguroKazuo Ishiguro's knighthood follows the award made to him last year of the Nobel Prize in Literature - making him the tenth London Library member to win the nobel Prize since it was founded in 1901.

Wonderful news that these great friends of the Library have been honoured in this way!

John Julian NorwichThe London Library was very saddened to learn of the death on Friday 1st June of the much-loved writer and broadcaster, John Julius Norwich

He was a prolific historian, with a writing career spanning over half a century, and his many books included major works on Venice, Byzantium and the history of Papacy. He remained active to the very end of his life, maintaining a busy schedule of lectures and public talks and producing three books in the last three years alone (Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History, Random House, 2015; Four Princes: John Murray, 2016, and France: A History: from Gaul to de Gaulle, John Murray, 2018).

As well as being a major public figure and writer, he was also a great friend and supporter of The London Library. He joined in 1960 and remained a member for the rest of his life, maintaining that "every sentence of every book I have ever written has been written in The London Library". He met his second wife, Mollie Philipps, in the Library and served for many years as a Library Vice-President, a position he held right up to his death. 

He will be sorely missed.

 

"A WONDERFUL PLACE IN WHICH TO READ AND RESEARCH"

John O'Farrell

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