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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.



Our blog this month unravels a mystery that has lain unsolved for several years. Just how did an original and autographed manuscript of the dramatic poem Pugachov, by the Russian poet Sergei Esenin, come into the hands of the London Library? The manuscript was acquired by The Library in 1934 and has recently been confirmed as an original by The Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow. But until now the history of how it made its way from a Russia ravaged by civil war in the 1920s to the safe haven of St James’s Square in London was unknown. Claudia Ricci, The London Library’s Russian specialist has been on the detective trail....


LLMag29frontpageThe autumn issue of The London Library magazine has just been published and is now available on our website.

Coming out quarterly, the magazine is always an informed read and includes a range of news and features from leading writers and academics, providing fascinating insights into their research, the characters that have inspired them and the ways in which the Library’s wide-ranging collection has helped with their work. Our latest issue is no exception:

Thursday, 24 September 2015 6.45pm – 8.45pm

Reading rm 1 c PHILIP VILEReading Room, The London Library

Any member who has joined or rejoined The London Library this year is warmly invited to come along to the Reading Room for a special drinks reception on Thursday, 24 September at 6.45pm. This is an opportunity to meet Library staff and other members, and find out more about the collections and how to use them.

If you have ever wondered about the challenges of preserving the Library’s collection of books and periodicals, the book conservation team will also be on hand to talk about some of their work, which will be on display, and discuss how they keep the Library’s 1m books in circulation.

This is a free event. If you haven’t already received your invitation, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The London Library is delighted to be participating in Open House London, the capital's largest annual festival of architecture and design. During the weekend of the 19th and 20th September hundreds of buildings will be opening their doors to the public and throughout the day on 19th September The London Library will be conducting guided tours around the main areas of the building. Tours are taking place every hour with the first tour starting at 10am and the last one at 4pm.

Bookings need to be made in advance and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. We regret that we will not be able to accommodate visitors who arrive on the day without a booking.

You can check availability and make bookings on-line but tours book up very quickly as there are only a limited number of places we can offer at any one time.

If you are unlucky this time round, keep an eye out for our Monday evening tours which run roughly once a month. Details can be found at: http://www.londonlibrary.co.uk/about-us/public-tours-events.

More information on events taking place across the Open House London weekend can be found at www.openhouselondon.org.uk.



Simon Callow


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