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The Cathedral Collections form a unique record of
the spiritual, liturgical, architectural, administrative and social life of one
of the world’s outstanding buildings and its imposing predecessor, the Pre-fire
Cathedral. They are maintained as an asset for current use and as a legacy for
The books and manuscripts are housed in one of London’s best-preserved 18th century interiors, the cathedral library. The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s have retained a working library in the present building since 1720. Today it houses approximately 21,500 volumes, including printed books, manuscripts and separate pamphlets. These works accrued through purchase, bequest and donation, largely from 1690 onwards, form a collection still used today by academics, students and researchers of all kinds. Dean and Chapter, Minor Canons, and Cathedral School archives once held in the Library are now on long-term deposit at London Metropolitan Archives.
The Object Collection denotes a great variety of objects associated with the history of the construction and decoration of St Paul’s Cathedral and objects which have been or still are used or presented within the building. Within the Object Collection there are some very remarkable and important artefacts that are significant to the history of St Paul’s Cathedral, including models, paintings and archaeological stones. Many famous artists, architects and designers have contributed works to the decoration of the Cathedral including William Holman Hunt, William Burges, Alfred Stevens and G.F. Watts, Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore.
The Architectural Archive contains the papers and drawings created by the Surveyor to the Fabric and related drawings by consultants, contractors, artists and designers. The drawings and records chart the original design and construction of the Cathedral by Christopher Wren and the architectural history of the building to the present day.
Object Collection and Architectural Archive
Wren Office Drawings
Cathedral archives at London Metropolitan Archives (search for reference code CLC/313)
The collections are managed and conserved by an in-house team composed of a Conservator, a Librarian, an Archivist and a Collections Manager.