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Lambeth Palace Library, London

Historical note

Lambeth Palace Library is the historic library and record office of the Archbishops of Canterbury and the principal repository of the documentary history of the Church of England, with collections ranging in date from the 9th century to the present day.

The Library was founded in 1610 when Archbishop Richard Bancroft bequeathed his extensive collection of books and manuscripts ‘unto the archbishops of Canterbury successively forever’. His successor as Archbishop, George Abbot accepted the terms of Bancroft’s will and secured the support of King James I. The collections have grown considerably since then from donations of books and manuscripts from later Archbishops and others, by the deposit of archives relating to the office of Archbishop, the Faculty Office, Vicar General, the Court of Arches, and the central institutions of the Church of England, as well as papers relating to prominent Anglican churchmen and societies.

In 1996 Lambeth Palace Library took into its care all the early collections of Sion College, the historic library of the City of London clergy, including 35,000 pre-1850 printed books and an extensive collection of pamphlets. The Sion College collection complements that of Lambeth with a key focus on the Church, but a rich diversity of other subject material. The Library continues to actively collect both new and antiquarian printed material relating to the history of the Church of England. More information on Lambeth Palace Library can be found at: https://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/

Coverage of file

The file currently contains 59,299 records from Lambeth Palace Library, including records for the Sion College Library collection now held at Lambeth. Publication dates span the entire hand press era from the fifteenth century to 1830. While much of the material is connected with aspects of church history, theology, liturgy and biblical studies, there are more diverse works on history, philosophy, language and affairs of various periods. The Library continues to add new material through donations and a careful acquisitions policy. There are major cataloguing initiatives currently in progress at Lambeth both to enhance the quality of older records and to complete the cataloguing of the Sion collection and updates to the file can be expected in the future. Consulting Lambeth Palace Library’s online catalogue (available at https://lamb.koha-ptfs.co.uk/) will provide access to the most up-to-date records.

Mode of cataloguing

Cataloguing at Lambeth Palace Library is in MARC21 format to AACR2 and DCRM(B) standards. Since 2014, all cataloguing in the case of works printed before 1801, but also of some of the later material, has followed full DCRM(B) guidelines. Name and subject headings conform to the Library of Congress Authority Files in newer records; older records have been catalogued to roughly AACR2 standards using British Museum or in-house authorities and are in the process of being updated. Recent and enhanced records will have bibliographical notes and references to Wing, STC, ISTC, ESTC and other bibliographies where appropriate.

Many older records were created by retrospective conversion based on the Library’s card catalogue. All recent acquisitions were catalogued book-in-hand and there is a constant process of improving earlier records to conform to modern standards. Titles in non-Latin script are transliterated according to national or international transliteration schemes. Anonymous works are entered directly under title and uniform titles are generally given for the original title of translations.

Present/Absent fields in cataloguing

The short records converted from the old catalogue will often lack any collational formula, as well as language and country codes. The title proper, imprint and edition statements may be abbreviated, and provenance information may be present but minimal.

The transcribed fields include the title, statement(s) of responsibility, edition and imprint. Normalised places of publication, names of printers, etc., are recorded in separately indexed fields. Names of editors, translators, illustrators and publishers, as well as donors and former owners, have been added where known, together with the appropriate relator terms assigning different kinds of intellectual responsibility. Older records which omit these fields are being upgraded. Treatment of multi-volume works

These are treated in single records, with appropriate notes. The number of parts, and the pagination of each, is given in the physical description when available.

Recommendations for searching

It is possible to search in the author indexes on any names associated with the work. Names are entered not only for the main author of a work, but also for editors, translators, illustrators, engravers, printers and publishers (where these are known). The Library of Congress Name Authority File is used to ensure that names are drawn together, however many variants are apparent on title pages and in colophons. There are also many older records which followed British Museum authorities; these are in the process of being upgraded. Library of Congress subject headings are also included. In accordance with DCRM(B) rules, places of printing are included both in the form that appears on the title page or in the colophon, as well as in a standardised hierarchical place name.

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 resources/hpb/content/lambeth_palace_library_london.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/08 06:09 by kittelmann



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