The Library of St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
The library of Dean and Chapter is situated behind the south-west tower in a chamber designed by Christopher Wren.
The library’s collection was almost completely destroyed in the Great
Fire of London in 1666. 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
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’