21 August 2007
The printed book collection of Lambeth Palace Library - the historic library and record office of the Archbishops of Canterbury, and one of the oldest public libraries in the country – has made its debut on an online catalogue to improve access to its holdings for researchers across the globe. The move means that readers can now access a list of Lambeth Palace Library’s books alongside those of many British Universities - including Oxford and Cambridge - plus other major collections such as the British Library, Science Museum Library and the V&A National Art Library.
The Library’s printed book catalogue has this week been launched on ‘Copac’, which provides free access to the merged online catalogues of the major research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Although a growing catalogue of the library’s holdings has been available on Lambeth Palace Library’s website, this is the first time that access to the catalogue has been made available alongside a number of other prestigious collections, through a single portal.
Lambeth Palace Library’s holdings make it one of the key collections of Church history for researchers exploring the early Church to the present day, and the Library forms a major part of the national collection in the field of ecclesiastical history.
Copac is co-ordinated by the Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL), a body that aims to increase the ability of research libraries to share resources for the benefit of the local, national and international research community. By building a ‘one-stop’ resource, researchers - wherever in the world and whatever their disciplines - are able to locate resources easily from their own desk.
Copac can be searched by visiting www.copac.ac.uk.
About Lambeth Palace Library
The Library was founded as a public library in 1610 and is freely open for all to use. The Lambeth collection was formed from the private collections of Archbishops of Canterbury and is particularly rich in terms of provenance and rare and unique items. In its early years, the Library also acquired parts of the libraries of John Foxe (1516-87) the martyrologist, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1532-88) and Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-91). The Library contains some 120,000 books and 40,000 pamphlets from the 15th to 21st centuries. Included is one of the foremost national collections of early printing from the Gutenberg Bible onwards. The collection forms the leading national collection in the history and affairs of the Church of England, alongside a great diversity of other subjects.
The Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles is a consortium of 29 institutions in the UK and Ireland. CURL's mission is to increase the ability of research libraries to share resources for the benefit of the local, national and international research community. Further information about CURL, including COPAC - a freely available service allowing the catalogues of CURL Member and other libraries to be searched from a single point - can be found at www.curl.ac.uk.