Access to the Lambeth Palace Library – one of the oldest public libraries in the United Kingdom – will soon be open to anyone with an Internet hookup.
The printed book collection of the library will be loaded onto Copac, which provides free access to the merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the U.K. and Ireland.
“Researchers who discover Lambeth Palace are constantly amazed by the richness and value of the collections for their research,” said Declan Kelly, director of libraries, archives and information services for the National Institutions of the Church of England. “While many users already access the catalogues via our own Web site, exposure of the library’s collections in this way will raise the library’s profile enormously, not just to the research community, but also to the wider public.”
Founded in 1610, the Lambeth Palace Library began with the private collections of archbishops of Canterbury. Today it contains about 120,000 books and 40,000 pamphlets from the 15th to 21st centuries. It includes one of the foremost national collections of early printing from the Gutenberg Bible.