Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library

EXHIBITION: Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Library (Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7JU, ph. +44-20-78981400), 17 May – 23 July 2010,

Lambeth Palace Library is one of the earliest public libraries in England, founded in 1610 under the will of Archbishop Richard Bancroft. In celebration of its 400th anniversary in 2010, the Library is opening a fascinating exhibition to the public in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace.

The exhibition draws upon the Library’s incomparably rich and diverse collections of manuscripts, archives and books, some of which will be on display for the first time. It reveals how the collections have developed since 1610 and explores the history surrounding the people who owned, studied or used them as aids to prayer and devotion.

Highlights of the exhibition include:
* The MacDurnan Gospels, written and illuminated in Ireland in the 9th century
* The Lambeth Bible, masterpiece of Romanesque art
* 13th century Lambeth Apocalypse
* A Gutenberg Bible printed in 1455, the first great book printed in Western Europe from movable metal type
* Books owned and used by King Richard III, King Henry VIII, Queen Katherine of Aragon, Queen Elizabeth I and King Charles I as well as landmark texts in the history of the Church of England
* An exceptionally rare edition of the Babylonian Talmud which survived a 1553 Papal Bull ordering all copies to be burnt, which was rediscovered in 1992
* The warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots
* Papers of archbishops, bishops and leaders of church and state, ranging from the 13th century to the modern day, including papers relating to the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire and physicians’ reports on the illness of King George III.

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