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Visit to The London Library [Event Ref. No. TG2V/LL]


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Event Type

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The London Library was founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle. His founding vision was for an institution which would allow subscribers to enjoy the riches of a national library in their own homes.

Carlyle was joined in his vision by eminent early supporters: The Earl of Clarendon, the enlightened early-Victorian politician, was the Library’s first president, Thackeray its first auditor; Gladstone and Sir Edward Bunbury were on the first committee and early members included Charles Dickens and George Eliot.

Over the past 170 years, The London Library’s collection has grown to more than one million volumes covering 2,000 subjects. It has enjoyed the patronage of many eminent writers, academics, politicians and readers throughout its history and has long played a central role in the intellectual life of the nation.

T.S Eliot was president of The London Library from 1952 to his death in 1965. Internationally acclaimed artist Emma Sergeant donated a portrait of Mrs T. S. Eliot (Valerie) to the Library, which now sits on the central stair and signals the entrance to T. S. Eliot House – a fitting commemoration of her magnificent generosity to the Library.

The visit will include a tour of the library, information about the history of the library & its collections and the viewing of some archival material.

Address: The London Library, 14 St James’s Square, London. SW1Y 4LG.

A location map URL:

Joining Instructions:
Please arrive ten minutes before the tour is due to commence. On arrival attendees should report to the main reception and ask for Mary Gillies.

This visit is free of charge.

To reserve a space please use our online booking form or email the administrator via

Please note that there are limited places available for this visit.

Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members