The London Library Shop

We have a range of London Library merchandise available for you to browse, from notebooks to travel card holders. Currently we are only accepting online orders for our merchandise.

The Library also has an Adopt a Book scheme, allowing a personalised bookplate to placed in a shelfmark or specific volume of your choice. We also offer Gift Membership packages across all membership types. 

SHOP

The London Library is delighted to partner with a range of organisations for events, awards, workshops and more. Our partners play a vital role in ensuring that we are able to remain a centre of creativity and inspiration for future generations of readers, writers and thinkers.

Arts Council England

ACE website 

Arts Council England are the national development agency for creativity and culture. They have set out a strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. They invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

 

Arvon

Arvon website

For over fifty years Arvon has been the UK’s home of creative writing. They have three centres, in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire and their residential courses and retreats, led by highly acclaimed writers, span poetry to playwriting, song to screenplay, fact to fiction, starting to finishing.

 

Bloomsbury Institute

 Bloomsbury Institute website

The Bloomsbury Institute is the public event series of Bloomsbury Publishing, they run unmissable events, panel talks and literary salons for book lovers, writers and publishers.

 

Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival website

A celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events, Brighton Festival takes place in familiar and unusual locations across Brighton & Hove and further afield for three weeks every May.

 

Creation Theatre

 Creation Theatre website

Creation Theatre perform classic texts in extraordinary locations, including Dracula and The Time Machine at The London Library. They are experts at bringing stories to life in very special spaces and delighting audiences.

 

Commonwealth Writers

Commonwealth Writers website

Commonwealth Writers is the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. It aims to inspire, develop and connect writers across the Commonwealth. Its flagship is a literary award for short stories, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

 

English PEN

English PEN website

English PEN is one of the world's oldest human rights organisations, championing the freedom to write and the freedom to read around the world. They are the founding centre of PEN International, a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries.

 

Henley Literary Festival

Henley Lit Fest website

Launched in 2007, Henley Literary Festival is established as one of the UK’s biggest book festivals. It brings authors together from all genres and past speakers have included Theresa May, Paul Merton, Mary Berry, Jojo Moyes, Julia Donaldson, Richard E. Grant and many more.

 

Insiders/Outsider Festival

Insiders Outsiders website

Insiders/Outsiders was a year-long nationwide arts festival celebrating the indelible contribution of refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe to British culture. March 2020 marked the official end of the festival, but also the beginning of a longer-term commitment to celebrating the impact of this remarkable generation of émigrés under the Insiders/Outsiders umbrella.

 

Jacaranda

Jacaranda website

Jacaranda Books is a diversity-led British independent book publishing firm launched in 2012, it is known for publishing groundbreaking and inclusive titles. The London Library has partnered with Jacaranda for their #Twentyin2020 initiative - a trailblazing programme that has dedicated a year to publishing 20 works by black British writers.

 

Jewish Book Week

Jewish Book Week website

Jewish Book Week is a literary festival in London, held annually in February and March, that explores Jewish literature, ideas and culture. The festival was founded in 1952.

 

Jhalak Prize

 Jhalak Prize website

First awarded in March 2017, the Jhalak Prize and its new sister award Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize founded in 2020, seek to celebrate books by British/British resident BAME writers.

 

Ministry of Stories

Ministry of Stories website

Ministry of Stories champions the writer in every child. Co-founded by author Nick Hornby in 2010, we help young people discover their confidence, imagination and potential through the power of their writing.

 

Pen to Print

Pen to Print website

Pen to Print provides a safe, collaborative environment that attracts and supports a network of diverse writers and genres. By learning to develop their authentic voices, aspiring writers are encouraged to reach communities with their stories reflecting not just their own journeys but also inspiring potential in others. They aim to build a network of expertise and support for aspiring writers in Barking and Dagenham.

 

The Royal Society of Literature

Royal Society of Literature website

Founded in 1820, the RSL is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature. They act as a voice for the value of literature, engage people in appreciating literature, and encourage and honour writers. Today, alongside their world-class events programme, they support authors both established and emerging with awards and grants, and manage an outreach programme to inspire the next generation of readers and writers.

 

Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

Sunday Times Young Writers website

The Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by an author aged 18 – 35 years. The winning book will be a work of outstanding literary merit. The award is an annual prize, sponsored by the Sunday Times and the Charlotte Aitken Trust. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors.

 

Wimbledon Bookfest

Wimbledon Book Fest website

Wimbledon BookFest is a not for profit charity promoting arts, culture and education. They run an Annual Public Festival based on Wimbledon Common in October and educational projects with schools & young people in Merton and South London. Wimbledon Bookfest hosts over 100 events in its 10 day period and has grown from 1,000 visitors in its first year to over 20,000 people now attending.

 

 Word Factory

Word Factory website

The Word Factory is committed to supporting the next generation of short story writers in long-term literary relationships, bringing leading established and emerging writers together in exciting collaborations.

 

Write & Shine

Write and Shine websiteWrite & Shine morning writing workshops and online courses are open to everyone, whether you’re new to writing, have some experience or simply want more creativity into your working day. We find inspiration from modern life and the seasons, while exploring the craft of writing. Research shows we’re more creative in the morning. When we wake, we’re incredibly sensitive to the sights and sounds of our environment.

 

The Executive Team

Director, Philip Marshall

As Director, Philip is the chief executive officer of the Library, reporting to the Board of Trustees.

Philip began his career as a solicitor before moving into management within arts and culture. He spent 11 years at the British Museum where his roles included Head of Commercial and Director of International Engagement. His other roles have also included Director of Business Development at the Royal Albert Hall and Director of Development at Sadler’s Wells.

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Director of Collections and Library Services, Matthew Brooke

Matthew joined The London Library in 2019 and is focused on developing the Library’s outstanding collection and the library services that it provides, with directorial responsibility for the Member Services, Collection Care, Bibliographic Services and Acquisitions teams

He has been involved in library services for over a decade, most recently as Acting Director of Library Services at Royal Holloway where he was responsible for services including the archives and special collection, and led the development of the £60m Library Student Services Centre.

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Matthew Art Room FOR WEBSITE 2

Director of Finance & Resources, Chris Gilbert

Chris joined The London Library in 2022 and is responsible for the Library’s Finance, IT, HR and Building Management teams. Chris is a qualified accountant with thirty years of experience in the charity and public sectors.

Chris was previously the Chief Finance Officer for London Transport Museum and spent many years as a Trustee and Treasurer for the Association for Cultural Enterprises. He is an advocate for strong charitable governance and the importance of the heritage, arts and culture sectors.

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Fundraising Director, Melanie Stoutzker

Melanie joined the London Library as Fundraising Director in September 2020, and with the Fundraising team, is responsible for generating philanthropic income to support the Library’s activities and collections.

With over 25 years' experience as a development professional, Melanie was a fundraiser at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Natural History Museum, before becoming a consultant advising and supporting a range of heritage, cultural, arts and charitable organisations. She has a passion for driving philanthropic support to increase access to and engagement with culture and heritage. 

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Membership Director, Felicity Nelson

Felicity joined the Library in 2017 and as Membership Director is focused on delivering the Library's strategy to raise awareness of the Library, broaden its audience and grow its membership. Felicity is responsible for the Library’s Marketing and Communications, Events and Membership Administration teams. She brings wide-ranging experience of membership organisations and events delivery, having worked in membership for over 13 years, most recently as Head of Membership and Business Development for maritime trade association The UK Chamber of Shipping.

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Felicity Nelson web

Departmental Teams

“I give daily thanks to The London Library and its peerless staff” - Max Hastings

The London Library is proud of its people and the high quality service they provide. There's information below to help you find out more about the different departments and services within the Library along with a list of key contact addresses where you can get in touch.

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Collections and Library Services 

The Department is headed by Executive Director Matthew Brooke. Four teams within this Department are focused on maintaining and developing the Library's unique collection and the outstanding library services that provide access to it:

Member Services

The Member Services Team, headed by Amanda Stebbings, deals with many of the services that members rely on directly when accessing the collection. Reception are often the first point of contact for potential members and for membership enquiries of all kinds and can advise on many membership matters and use of the building. Circulation can deal with complex subject enquiries and are able to advise on using the catalogue and online resources. The Member Services team also provide induction sessions for new member and those who wish to better understand the Library collections.

Key contacts

  • Book Enquiries, loans and renewals: (020) 7766 4743 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Reception: (020) 7766 4700 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Postal loans: (020) 7766  4782 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • New Book suggestions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • For more general feedback about Library services, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Collection Care

The Collection Care team, headed by Kate Sloss, maintains and preserves the Library's collections and manages the stack areas. Collection Care prepares all new acquisitions including protective housing. Working from a dedicated conservation studio, the team stabilise and conserve collections for continued use by members while retaining significant structures, artifacts and information. Collection Care manages access to special collections, including loans to museums and galleries, and works closely with the Archives. Preventive work focusses on managing the environment in the stacks by monitoring relative humidity, temperature, light levels and pest activity.

Space planning is the responsibility of Collection Care and the team is engaged in the long-term work of creating space in the stacks for new acquisitions and improving the browsing sequence of our collections.

Acquisitions

The Acquisitions Team is headed by Gill Turner and handles the acquisition of books coming into the collection whether they are newly published, out of print materials or replacements for existing copies, as well as subscriptions to journals and periodicals in both print and online formats where available. The team also handles the growing collection of e-resources to be found on Catalyst that includes newspaper archives, academic and popular e-books as well as subject specialist titles supporting our core print collections. Over 6,000 titles are added to the collection annually across all formats. The selection of titles draws on the expertise and ongoing research of the Acquisitions team and takes account wherever possible of recommendations from members about titles that would support their research and strengthen the collection. Suggestions for new books can be made to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Whilst most of the Library’s selections have to be purchased, new title donations that fit the collection are welcomed for our consideration and members are invited to contact the team via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their proposals. The Head of Acquisitions also welcomes contact from members thinking about estate planning with regard to their book collections and can advise about the Library's constraints in this area.

Bibliographic Services

Headed by Fay Harris the Bibliographic Services team is responsible for maintaining the Library's unique classification system and ensuring that our titles are expertly catalogued. The team are also responsible for managing the Library's Retro Cataloguing Project which has enabled records for the vast bulk of the collection dating prior to 1950 to be searchable via our online catalogue, Catalyst.

    Fundraising

    Fundraising plays a vital role in enabling the Library - which receives no regular public funding - to operate and provide its services to members and users. Under the direction of Fundraising Director, Melanie Stoutzker, the Fundraising team is responsible for creating, maintaining and deepening relationships with the Library’s philanthropic supporters and running a range of programmes through which individuals and charitable trusts can support the Library.

    Key contacts

    • Fundraising Director: Melanie Stoutzker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Fundraising enquiries and donations: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Founders’ Circle: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Legacy enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Filming and Venue Hire: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Finance & Administration Department

    Teams and key contacts

    • Accounts - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Building & Facilities Management. The BFM Team, headed by Jeremy Cox (jeremy.cox@londonlibrary), is responsible for maintenance and security of the building and the provision of core facilities to ensure the Library is a safe, comfortable and effective working environment for members, staff and visitors. The team provides the first port of call for deliveries and postal services and also operates beyond normal opening hours to allow for cleaning, events or significant maintenance work.
    • HR - HR Manager, jThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • IT - Head of IT, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Finance - Director of Finance and Resources, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Membership Department

      A thriving membership is vital to the Library and the Membership Department is responsible for raising awareness of the Library, recruiting new members and ensuring that existing members get as much as possible out of their membership beyond use of the collection. The team's activities include:

    • Marketing - recruiting new members and keeping existing and potential audiences informed of the many benefits of Library membership
    • Communication - helping raise the profile of the Library through a range of channels including print, broadcast and social media, The London Library magazine and the website
    • Events - developing a vibrant program of public events
    • Membership administration - ensuring that all our members' subscriptions and new membership applications are efficiently processed and maintained
    • Merchandise and branding - ensuring a consistent and compelling identity for the Library's communications and external profile
        Key contacts:
      • Membership enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • Press enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • The London Library magazine: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • Public events: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • Marketing enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • Membership Director: Felicity Nelson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
                  If you have any feedback about using the Library and the Library building, we’d love to hear from you at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      The Library is open: 

      • 9.30am-9pm on Mondays to Tuesdays

      • 9.30am-5.30pm Wednesdays to Fridays

      • 9.30am-5.30pm Saturdays

      Bank Holidays

      The Library building is closed on the Saturday and Monday of Bank Holiday weekends. 

       

      The London Library is one of the world's great lending libraries, with an amazing collection of over 1 million books, and an equally extraordinary history.

      Behind its elegant facade overlooking St. James's Square is a vast network of books, where since the mid-nineteenth century, seven buildings have been brought into one and a great centre of learning and ideas has been created.

      The Library is available to hire as an event space, find out more on our venue hire page.

      Our magical building has atmospheric bookstacks and beautiful spaces for members to work and relax in:

      Take a look at our 3D tour below. Alternatively use the button below to view it full screen.

      VIEW INSIDE

      The Reading Room

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      Opened in 1896 by Virginia Woolf's father, the magnificent Reading Room has a special place in London’s literary life. Countless authors - from Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad to EM Forster and Antonia Fraser - have worked here; the opening chapter of AS Byatt's "Possession" is set here. Housing reference works and current periodicals and offering beautiful views across St. James's Square, it provides desk space for up to 40 people and a unique environment for quiet study.

      Video tour of the Reading Room

      The Art Room

      artforinside

      Built in the 1930s, bombed in the 1940s and extensively refurbished in 2010 by architects Haworth Tompkins (who won a RIBA award for their work), the Art Room's striking contemporary design makes clever reference to the architectural features found in the older parts of the Library. The impressive ceiling (covered over in the 1970s and only revealed during the refurbishment work) helps support six floors of bookstacks directly above it. Housing the larger books in the Library’s 25,000 strong art books collection, the Art Room is a popular working area accommodating 4 reading desks.

      Video tour of the Art Room

      The Bookstacks

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      The Library's extensive bookstacks are a paradise for browsing, with over one million books dating from the 1700s to the present day housed side-by-side on over 17 miles of shelving. The famous 1890s stacks with their striking iron-grille floors are some of the best-loved parts of the Library. Grade II listed they house four floors of the Library’s History and Science & Miscellaneous collections and three more floors of the Literature collection. Together they provide a uniquely atmospheric way of exploring books, triggering ideas and making new discoveries.

      Video inside the famous stacks

      The Writers' Room

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      The Writers' Room is one of the most intensively-used areas of the Library and has become a favoured space for industrious writing and study. It can seat up to 26 people at any one time and offers members state-of-the art working and studying facilities in a setting that strikingly balances modern and traditional design features.

      Video tour of the Writers' Room

      The Issue Hall

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      The Issue Hall – the Library’s historic entrance and reception area overseeing St James’s Square - was opened in 1896 and is the Library's central hub where books are issued and returned and our busy Member Services team are on hand to provide expert help about finding and borrowing books. An extensive locker area has been created to cater for up to 100 members at a time and nearby rooms provide handy print and copying facilities.

      Short video inside the Issue Hall

      The Times Room

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      The Library's labyrinthine basement area contains backruns of over 2,200 periodicals and journals housed on special rolling stacks. It also includes the Times Room – a purpose-built facility providing open access to original copies of over 200 years of the Times. These print holdings are complemented by the extensive online resources that are offered as part of membership, providing remote access to hundreds of journals and periodicals (including JSTOR), databases and newspapers.

      Tour of the Times Room

      The Foyle Lightwell Reading Room

      Lightwell

      As its name suggests, The Foyle Lightwell Room was originally an open air courtyard designed to allow light into surrounding parts of the building. It has been recently been roofed over with a glass roof and converted into a spectacular working space housing up to 8 readers. 

      The Study

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      The Study – a former Committee room – provides an impressive working space for up to 15 members. Designed in the 1930s by architects Mewes Davis (who also designed the Ritz Hotel) it creates an elegant Georgian Style atmosphere, particularly as the room also features an original Robert Adam fireplace, donated to the Library when Lansdowne House in Mayfair was part demolished in the 1930s.

      6th Floor Members' Suite

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      These spaces include the Annex and Common Room (providing informal spaces for individual or group work) and the Coffee Room (for eating and relaxing during the day). Unlike the rest of the Library, these are not strictly quiet areas, and conversations - including phone conversations - are permitted here. Mobile phone booths are available for longer or more private conversations.