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.

 

  • New scheme supports writers, in any genre, who have not yet had a full work published

  • Successful applicants to get free access to Library’s extensive resources, plus programme of networking and developmental support

  • Applications close 12pm March 4 2019

Young readersThe London Library – which has been a centre for great writing and great writers for over 175 years - today announced the launch of its new Emerging Writers Programme, geared towards supporting writers at the start of their careers and helping develop their work. The Programme offers writers one year’s membership of The London Library (which normally costs £535 per annum) alongside writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the Library’s resources. The Programme runs from 2 May 2019 – 1 May 2020.

The Library’s Emerging Writers Programme is open to anyone who is committed to pursuing a career in writing (for publication or performance) and wants to develop their work. Applicants should be working on, or planning, a specific project which will make extensive use of the Library’s resources and is intended for publication or production. The Programme is targeted at emerging writers who have not yet published a full-length work of fiction, non-fiction or a collection of poems, or had a full-length work professionally produced for mainstream film, TV or the stage.

The Programme has been established with the help of Library supporters including literary agency AM Heath, The Garrick Charitable Trust, The Golden Bottle Trust, and the Julio and Maria Marta Núñez Memorial Fund, and initially will fund up to 40 places. The closing date for applications is 12pm on Monday 4 March 2019; applications will then be selected anonymously by a panel of judges including London Library Trustee and writer Daisy Goodwin (chair), Head of Prizes and Awards at the Society of Authors Paula Johnson, novelist Nikita Lalwani, and an agent from AM Heath.

Under the Emerging Writers Programme, successful applicants will get free access to the Library’s unique collection which includes over one million books and over 2,500 periodicals titles arranged on open shelves that can all be borrowed. Membership also includes access to extensive online resources and dedicated writing and research spaces in the Library’s extraordinary building in central London.

The Emerging Writers Programme draws on the Library’s long association with writers and thinkers. Many have begun their literary careers here and thousands continue to draw on the Library to explore and develop their work. Author Davina Langdale describes how the Library provided the inspiration for her 2017 debut novel, The Brittle Star. “It would never have come into being without The London Library... It not only provided the research material for the book but it provided the perfect place for me to write.” Novelist Kate Davies described how the Library provided the perfect environment for her to write her first novel, In At The Deep End, appearing in February 2019. “I joined the Library when I left my job to write full time, and I come almost every day. I love writing surrounded by other writers.”

Bill Hamilton, Managing Director of AM Heath commented: “We’re marking our 2019 centenary at the heart of London’s literary life by investing in writers, both established ones and the next generation. As part of this we are sponsoring a number of subscriptions to The London Library for emerging book writers who are not yet published and who might find it hard to afford or get access to such a resource. The number of our established clients who have used this unique working environment long term is testimony to its enduring value.“

Philip Marshall, Director of The London Library, concluded: “The London Library has long been a centre of literary creativity and inspiration. Our new Emerging Writers Programme will provide invaluable support to those beginning the journey towards a writing career, opening up the extensive resources of The London Library to empower their imagination and take forward the projects they are developing.”

  • Ends -

NOTES TO EDITOR

About The Emerging Writers Programme - Eligibility

1. The London Library Emerging Writers Programme is open to anyone aged 16 or over (as of 1 May 2019).

2. Applicants must be UK residents.

3. Applicants must be emerging writers. We define an emerging writer as someone who:

  • has not previously published a novel, full-length non-fiction book, or a collection of poems or short stories;

  • has not had work professionally produced via mainstream channels, studios or theatres for film, television or stage;

  • is not currently under contract to produce any of the above.

This does not include:

  • self-published work;

  • work published online;

  • chapbooks and pamphlets;

  • short stories, articles or poems published within an anthology, journal, magazine or newspaper;

  • works produced non-professionally for film, television or stage or works for fringe theatre productions;

  • textbooks or academic texts

4. The scheme is open to writers of any genre

5. Applicants must be committed to making use of The London Library resources:

  • Use of the physical space as a base for writing and networking

  • Use of the collection (both physical and digital) to inspire thought and inform research and writing

  • Applicants must be committed to attending Emerging Writers Programme events at the Library all taking place between 2 May 2019 and 1 May 2020.

For more information about eligibility requirements, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Full details about the Programme, including downloadable application forms, can be found at www.londonlibrary.co.uk/emerging-writers

 

 

Our evening opening arrangements for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays have now changed

On Mondays and Tuesdays members will be able to use the Library until 9pm.

On Wednesday evenings the Library will normally close at 5.30pm to help support evening venue hire and public events, which are an important source of income for us. On many occasions, however, we will be able to stay open until 9pm as often public events are sufficiently self-contained that they can be hosted in the first floor reading rooms without restricting member access to other parts of the Library. Where this is the case, the Library - with the exception of the Reading Room, Writers' Room and Sackler Study - will remain open to members until 9pm.

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Upcoming dates

The Library will be open until 9pm on the following Wednesdays. Please note, the Reading Room, Sackler Study and Writer's Room will not be open:

6 March

24 April

8 May

22 May

More to be announced.

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Summary of revised opening hours:

Mondays: 9.30am-9.00pm

Tuesdays: 9.30am-9.00pm

Wednesdays: 9.30am-5.30pm; or 9.30am-9.00pm when events in the Reading Room are compatible with maintaining member access to other parts of the Library

Thursdays: 9.30am-5.30pm

Fridays: 9.30am-5.30pm

Saturdays: 9.30am-5.30pm

Sundays: Closed

MEMBERSHIP FEES 2019

The recent AGM (held on 7th November 2018) approved the proposal to increase the ordinary annual fee to £535 (a £10 increase) with effect from January 1st 2019 - but for those paying by annual direct debit the fee will remain at the current price of £510. It was also agreed to extend the maximum age range for Young Person's Membership from 24 to 26.

The £10 increase in ordinary annual membership represents a 1.9% increase. Proportionate increases will be applied for the other membership categories, and life membership fees will be broadly increased by the same percentage as annual fees. 

The new rates are as follows:

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP

Annual membership

  • Annual - £535 (which can be spread across monthly payments of £44.58)
  • Payment by annual direct debit - £510

Spouse/partner membership (for spouses or partners of full annual or life members)

  • Annual - £267.50 (which can be spread across monthly payments of £22.29)
  • Payment by annual direct debit - £255

Young Persons’ Membership (for all members aged 16-26) 

  • Annual - £267.50
  • Payment by annual direct debit - £255

Temporary overseas membership (for overseas visitors)

  • 4 months’ duration  - £267.50 

Extra borrowing allowances

  • Additional 5 volumes - £46

INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP

Public libraries  - £48 per volume

Educational/charitable institutions (10 or more staff/members)

  • Annual - £1,070
  • Additional 5 volumes - £138

Other institutions (10 or more staff/members)

  • Annual - £1,605
  • Additional 5 volumes - £230

Smaller institutions (Less than 10 staff/members)

  • Annual - £642
  • Additional 5 volumes - £92

LIFE MEMBERSHIP

  • Age 80 and over - £1,500
  • 75 to 79 - £4.000
  • 70 to 74 - £5,800
  • 65 to 69 - £7,800
  • 60 to 64 - £10,600
  • 55 to 59 - £12,300
  • 50 to 54 - £14,200
  • 45 to 49 - £15,800
  • 40 to 44 - £17,500
  • 35 to 39 - £19,200
  • 30 to 34 - £20,900
  • 25 to 29 - £22,300
  • 18 to 24 - £23,300

 

Dracula Book on London Librray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BOOKS THAT MADE DRACULA

The London Library today unveiled a fascinating discovery that sheds new light on how Dracula was researched and written. We've found 26 books that are almost certainly the original copies that Bram Stoker used to help research his enduring classic.

Philip Spedding, the Library’s Development Director who made the discovery, commented: “Bram Stoker was a member of The London Library but until now we have had no indication whether or how he used our collection. Today’s discovery changes that and we can establish beyond reasonable doubt that numerous books still on our shelves are the very copies that he was using to help write and research his masterpiece.”

Philip’s detective trail began with the collection of Stoker’s handwritten and typed notes that had been discovered in 1913 but only published in facsimile form in 2008*. The notes list a wide range of Stoker’s sources for Dracula and include hundreds of references to individual lines and phrases that he considered relevant. A recent trawl of our shelves has revealed that the Library has original copies of 25 of these books, carrying detailed markings that closely match Stoker’s notebook references.

The markings range from crosses and underlinings against relevant paragraphs, to page turnings on key pages, to instructions to have someone copy entire sections into his typewritten notes.

warewolves

BOOKOFWARE

Some of the most heavily marked books include Sabine Baring-Gould’s “Book of Were-Wolves” and Thomas Browne’s “Pseudodoxica Epidemica”. But the range of titles also sheds light on the detail of Stoker’s geographical and historical research – for example, AF Crosse’s “Round About the Carpathians” and Charles’ Boner’s “Transylvania”.

 The suggestion that Stoker was using the Library heavily is given added weight by the timing of his seven-year membership which coincides almost exactly with the period when he was working on Dracula and beginning to develop an active writing career alongside his already very successful role as theatre manager at The Lyceum Theatre. Earlier research by our Archive Librarian Helen O’Neill showed that he joined in 1890, the year he visited Whitby and first developed the idea for his vampire story, and he finally left the Library in 1897, the year Dracula was published. His membership form is seconded by his close friend Henry Hall Caine, a bestselling author of the day, a London Library member, and the man to whom Stoker dedicated Dracula, using Hall Caine’s nickname “Hommy-Beg”.

38 Stokers application Bram Stoker0166

Philip Spedding continued, “It is almost certain that the books we have found have been marked up by Bram Stoker himself and that he drew heavily on The London Library’s collection to help research Dracula. Indeed, it is not fanciful to suggest that his extraordinary tale of the Transylvanian undead has many of its origins in the quiet confines of St. James’s Square.”

Professor Nick Groom from Exeter University and a leading expert on gothic literature said, “This is a very exciting discovery. I have examined the books and their annotations with Philip Spedding and have compared them with Bram Stoker’s own notes. I am in no doubt that Bram Stoker used these very copies for Dracula – a book that took him seven years to write. They demonstrate that The London Library was the crucible of one of the most influential novels in world history.”

Philip Marshall, Director of The London Library concluded: “Bram Stoker followed the same path that many writers have pursued before and since - using the Library to transition into a serious writing career, and drawing heavily on the Library’s collection to seek inspiration and ideas for his masterpiece. With the Library’s incredible list of members past and present, some of the most famous characters in fiction must have been developed here – with today’s discovery we can feel sure that Dracula was one of them. We hope that many aspiring writers will follow Bram Stoker’s example and use The London Library as a source of inspiration and support when creating their own masterpieces.”

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Creation Theatre Dracula performance

Following the discovery that the Library’s collection is intimately connection with the creation of Dracula, we're proud to announce that in February 2019 we will be hosting 18 performances of Creation Theatre’s acclaimed theatre production of “Dracula”. Tickets are on sale now.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Creation Theatre have established a growing reputation for their innovative theatrical adaptions of famous books with performances taking place in dramatic and unexpected locations. “Dracula” features just two actors and draws on innovative audio-visual design to tell the story of Bram Stoker’s great creation.

18 performances will take place in The London Library Reading Room from 7.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings between 2nd February and 2nd March 2019 (2nd Feb is a Preview).

Tickets are on sale now at £28 for London Library members and £32 for non-members and £15 for Preview tickets. 

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Books referenced in Bram Stoker’s notebooks that are still on the Library’s shelves

  • Nineteenth Century XVIII, Mme Emily de Laszowka Gerard, Kegan Paul, Trench & Co, July 1885
  • The Book of Were-Wolves, Sabine Baring-Gould, Smith, Elder and Co, 1865
  • Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Thomas Browne, 1672
  • Magyarland, Nina Elizabeth Mazuchelli, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1881
  • The Golden Chersonese, Isabella Bird, John Murray, 1883
  • Round about the Carpathians, AF Crosse, Blackwoods, 1878
  • On the Track of Crescent, Major EC Johnson, Hurst & Blackett, 1885
  • Transylvania: Its Products and Its People, Charles Boner, Longman, Green, Reader & Dyer, 1865
  • An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, William Wilkinson, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1820
  • Curious Myths of the Middle Ages (2 vol), Sabine Baring-Gould, Rivington, 1868
  • Germany Past and Present (2 vol), Sabine Baring-Gould, C Kegan Paul & Co, 1879
  • Legends & Superstitions of the Sea, Bassett
  • The Origin of Primitive Superstitions, Dorman, Lippincott, 1881
  • Credulities Past & Present, W Jones, Chatto & Windus, 1880
  • The Folk-Tales of The Magyars, The Rev W Henry Jones and Lewis L. Kropf, The Folk-Lore Society, 1889
  • Superstition & Force, HC Lea, Lea Brothers & Co, 1892
  • Sea Fables Explained, Henry Lee, William Cloves & Sons, 1883
  • Anecdotes of the Habits and Instincts of Birds, Reptiles and Fishes, Mrs R Lee, Grant & Griffith, 1853
  • The Other World; or, Glimpses of the Supernatural. Being Facts, Records, and Traditions, FG Lee, Henry S King & Co, 1875
  • Letters on the Truths Contained in Popular Superstitions, Herbert Mayo, Blackwood, 1849
  • The Devil: His Origin, Greatness and Decadence, Rev Albert Réville, Williams & Norgate, 1871
  • A Tarantasse Journey through Eastern Russia in the Autumn of 1856, W Spottiswode, Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts
  • Miscellany, W Spottiswode
  • Traité des Superstitions qui Regardent les Sacraments (4 vol), Jean-Baptiste Thiers, Louis Chambeau, 1777
  • The Phantom World: or, The Philosophy of Spirits, Apparitions &c. (2 vol), Augustin Calmet, Richard Bentley, 1850
  • The Land Beyond the Forest (2 vol), E Gerard, William Blackwood & Sons, 1888

Other books on the Library’s shelves not referenced in Stoker’s notebooks but containing comparable marginalia

  • On the Truths Contained in Popular Superstitions with an Account of Mesmerism, H Mayo, William Blackwood & Sons, 1851
  • La Magie et L'Astrologie dans L'Antiquité at au Moyen Age, Didier et Cie, 1860
  • Anecdotes of the Habits and Instincts of Animals, Mrs R Lee, Grant & Griffith, 1852
  • Narratives of Sorcery and Magic (2 vol), Thomas Wright, Richard Bentley, 1851
  • Things not Generally Known. Popular Errors Explained, John Timbs, Kent & Co, 1858
  • Roumania Past and Present, James Samuelson, Longmans, Green & Co, 1882

Books referenced in Bram Stoker’s notebooks no longer on the Library’s shelves

  • A Glossary of Words used in the Neighbourhood of Whitby, FK Robinson
  • The Natural & Supernatural of Man, John Jones,
  • History & Mystery of Previous Stones, W Jones
  • Superstition Connected with Hist & Medicine

Books referenced in Bram Stoker’s notebooks never held by the Library

  • Fishery Barometer Manual, Robert Scott
  • The Theory of Dreams (2 vol), FC & J Rivington, St. Pauls Churchyard, 1808
  • Sea Monsters Unmasked, Henry Lee
  • A report in IBIS on "The Birds of Translyvania", Danford and Brown

* ‘Bram Stoker’s Notes For Dracula’ was published in 2008 in a facsimile edition annotated and transcribed by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller

 

 

 

"PERFECTLY SUITED FOR THE WRITING LIFE"

Lara Feigel

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