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A historian is only as good as his sources

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For our guest blog slot, history researcher and writer Simon Fowler explores the theme of the recent talk he gave to London Library members on “How to… Use the Archives” (part of our series of regular Member Events). Simon provides essential advice to anyone looking to navigate the unparalleled wealth of Britain’s archive collections. “David…

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A Mystery Solved

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Last year I wrote a piece for this blog about a mysterious Russian manuscript held in the Library’s Special Collections, the origins and provenance of which were completely unknown to us. The original manuscript of the dramatic poem Pugachov, written by the Russian Silver Age lyrical poet Sergei Esenin (sometimes spelt “Yesenin”), was acquired by…

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From Sainsbury's to the Somme: Advertising Christmas 1914

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As we edge towards Christmas Helen O’Neill, our Archive, Heritage and Development Librarian, takes a peek at Christmas advertisements in 1914 and looks at the depiction of the Christmas Truce both today and 100 years ago. In the five days preceding 12 December 1914 the Post Office reported that 250,000 parcels had been sent to…

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A conversation with Jo Berzins, Collection Care Intern

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Conservation and Restoration student Jo Berzins has just completed a 10 week work placement with The London Library’s Collection Care department. As her time at the Library drew to a close we caught up with her to talk about her experiences. What inspired you to come to the London Library? I’m studying for a BA…

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The Great War and The London Library

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For Remembrance Day 2014 Helen O’Neill, our Archive, Heritage & Development Librarian delves into the the Library’s history to consider the impact of the Great War on both staff and members of the Library. On July 30 1916 The Times reported that fifteen members of London Library staff were on active service. Arthur Edwin Davis was one…

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The Library's Italian Risorgimento Collection

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«Without Palmerston’s assistance, Naples would still be under the Bourbons, without Admiral Mundy I should not have been able to pass the Straits of Messina» – with these words, Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), during his April 1864 visit to London, commended British support to the Italian national cause and the role unofficially played by the Royal…

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Claude Montefiore: A Cautious Revolutionary

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Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore (1858-1938), great-nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore and grandson of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, was a member of the Anglo-Jewish elite who broke with Jewish orthodoxy when he founded Liberal Judaism in Britain. By The London Library’s Head of Bibliographic Services Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros, adapted from an article originally written for History Today….

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Making ‘Mountaines’ out of molehills – 16th century gardening books at The London Library

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As London’s parks, squares and gardens come back to life after a dreary winter it seems timely to remember and celebrate Thomas Hill, the Londoner responsible for the first popular gardening books printed in the English language. By London Library Head of Bibliographic Services Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros, adapted from an article originally written for History Today….

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The Strongest Link: Bibles at The London Library

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Hundreds of bibles, translated into dozens of languages, populate some of the shelves of The London Library. Among these is a remarkable collection of early English versions with a copy of the King James Bible, published in May of 1611, at its heart. In the latest article adapted from a series recently published in History Today, Dunia…

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