The Library

The Collections
Today at the Cathedral View More
7:30am Morning Prayer
8:00am Eucharist
8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
12:30pm Eucharist
4:00pm Last entry for sightseeing
5:00pm Choral Evensong

The Library

The library of Dean and Chapter is situated at triforium level behind the south-west tower in a chamber designed for it by Wren.

The library's collection was almost completely destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Lists surviving from 1313 onwards give a picture of the pre-fire library. Wren's library chamber was restocked by the Commissioners for rebuilding St Paul's: they bought collections, including valuable Bibles and liturgical texts, and were fortunate to receive a generous bequest in 1712 of nearly two thousand volumes from the library of Henry Compton, late Bishop of London.

In 1783 the library of John Mangey, Vicar of Dunmow and Prebendary of St Paul's, was added. In the nineteenth century large collections of ecclesiastical tracts and pamphlets were brought in and improvements made to the library's holdings of sermons preached in the Cathedral and at Paul's Cross.

The subject strength of the historical collections lies in theology, church history and patristics. Current acquisitions are restricted to major works on the history of the Church in England, on Wren and the building of the Cathedral, the Church in the City, and 'alumni' material. 

Access to the cathedral Library
The library of Dean and Chapter is normally open to researchers by prior appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Fridays in the afternoons only. It is sometimes possible to arrange for library material to be made available at other times.

Joseph Wisdom,
​020 7246 8342
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