Participating Libraries and Archives

The British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and gives access to the world’s most comprehensive research collection. The Library provides information services to academic, business, research and scientific communities. The Library has over 170 million items in its collection, which includes artefacts from every age of written civilisation; from manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings to music scores, patents, sound recordings, stamps and other philatelic items. The British Library keep the United Kingdom archive of printed and digital publications, adding around three million new items to its collection every year. The commonplace books are sourced from the British Library.

Canterbury Cathedral Archives

The Archives & Library at Canterbury Cathedral holds an impressive collection of manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps and printed books dating back to the late 8th century. These make up an extraordinarily rich resource. In the Archives, you can find out more about the Cathedral, its history, its buildings and its community. You can explore the history of Canterbury and the surrounding area, and you can research East Kent family history. The Library contains about 30,000 books and pamphlets printed before 1900, and an expanding collection of some 20,000 books and serials published in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Collections are particularly rich in books on church history, older theology, national and local history, travel, natural science, medicine and the anti-slavery movement.

Lambeth Palace Library

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. Its collections have been freely available for research since 1610.

The records held here date from the 9th century to the present day, and their broad scope reflects the office of Archbishop as head of the Province of Canterbury, his national and international roles in leading the Church of England and the Anglican Communion worldwide, and the wealth and power of Archbishops in past centuries which enabled them to collect books and manuscripts of the highest quality and significance.

London Metropolitan Archives

London Metropolitan Archives is the regional archive for the Greater London area, holding a huge range of manuscripts, images, maps, films and books about London from 1067 to the present day. The collections are managed on over 100km of shelves in central London, making it one of the largest city archives in the world, and cover almost every aspect of life in the capital, from business to charity, education to law and order, government to entertainment. Alongside it’s public research rooms in central London, London Metropolitan Archives provides a wide range of exhibitions, workshops, conferences and services to support researchers. The material from London Metropolitan Archives featured in this project includes City of London court proceedings, family papers and Middlesex Sessions of the Peace court proceedings.

The National Archives

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for academic research. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, it is the guardian of millions of the UK's public records, the earliest dating back over 1,000 years. The National Archives’ role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The material from The National Archives’ collection featured in this project includes the John Locke and Ashley Cooper Papers, The Edward Herbert Papers, The Duchy of Lancaster Estreats and the Hearth Tax records.

The Newberry Library

A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry builds, preserves, and makes accessible an extensive collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other material spanning more than six centuries. Free and open to the public since 1887, the Newberry is an independent research library whose world-famous collection is available to scholars, genealogists, and lifelong learners alike. 

These unique primary sources are part of a vast collection of more than 1.6 million books, 5 million manuscript pages, and 600,000 maps that the Newberry continually preserves, augments, and makes accessible in a variety of ways.

Beyond its reading rooms, the Newberry provides learning opportunities for the intellectually curious through free exhibitions and public programs that include lectures, panel discussions, and theatrical and dance performances.

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of his works, life and times all over the world. The Library and Archives hold a large amount of books, records and objects on the period as well as the official archive of the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company), which includes hundreds of thousands of photos, programmes and reviews, as well as prompt books and DVD recordings.