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The man who made Edith Sitwell wait in line

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  The London Library is more than fortunate to boast some of the most helpful and courteous Issues Desk staff that one could hope for. For the first half of the twentieth century, however, members would have experienced a rather more ambiguous welcome as they entered the Library under the terrifying gaze of the legendary…

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Meeting Mr Mill

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John Stuart Mill is an important figure in the history of The London Library and an intriguing presence in our institutional archive. Helen O’Neil, Head of Reader Services, continues her archival sleuthing. In researching the Library’s archival records I want to do more than simply unearth those writers and thinkers who have been members of…

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Getting in on the Act: Bram Stoker and Henry Irving

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Our Head of Reader Services, Helen O’Neill, provided a fascinating series of blog posts in 2012, tracing her journey into The London Library Archive. We hope you enjoy her final post for 2012 – the journey will continue in 2013! The Victorian membership records of Henry Irving (1838-1905) and Bram Stoker (1847-1912) date from 1890. …

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Robert Harrison’s Commonplace Book

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In this, her third London Library archive blog instalment, Helen O’Neill explores Librarian Robert Harrison’s Commonplace Book and discovers fascinating anecdotes about past ‘literary workers’ in the Library…                         Robert Harrison, Librarian (1857-1893) used this unwanted ledger to scribble anecdotes and personal experiences about his…

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Books, glorious books…

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Our industrious Acquisitions Assistant, Rhiannon highlights some of the new books that now grace the Library shelves, including approximately 900 volumes donated by generous members, authors and publishers and some of the numerous titles that have been added to the rapidly growing Art collection… It’s been a while since my last blog entry, during which…

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The journey continues…

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Helen O’Neill’s journey into the Library’s archive continues. In this second instalment, Helen discovers the Victorian membership records of some leading writers and thinkers – members who reflect social and cultural themes of the era… We started our archival journey last month with four 20th century membership records. Over the last couple of weeks I have been getting…

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The Ostrog Bible

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The London Library’s vast collection of Russian material covers a wide range of printed works. The Russian element of the collections was first introduced by Robert Harrison, Librarian from 1857 to 1893. His successor, Sir Charles Hagberg Wright (Librarian from 1894 to 1940) had an even stronger interest in Russia, its culture, literature and currents…

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Catching rats and chasing medals

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In celebration of the Olympics our Head of Bibliographic Services, Dunia explores the Library’s Sports section, including the first book ever published on the modern games! The perfect way to celebrate Team GB’s first Gold medal win! Members of the Library who want to browse the sports section need to climb up to the 6th floor of…

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Excellent Creatures

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Our Head of Bibliographic Services, Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros, explores the fascinating history of the book Angelographia – one of the Library’s many treasures. Angelographia sive Pneumata Leityrgika Pneumatologia, or, A Discourse of Angels, their Nature and Office or Ministry, published in London in 1701, was according to Rodney M. Baine “the last thorough treatise [on angels] published…

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Building a fort of books

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Our busy Acquisitions Assistant, Rhiannon highlights some new books on sport and the city of London arriving on The London Library shelves this month, just in time for the Olympic celebrations… There has been a huge amount of book ordering recently, including 225 new English titles on order this week alone! I suspect that I…

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