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Gladstone's Library

exterior stone building

Gladstone's Library founded 1889 by William Ewart Gladstone

  1. Residential accommodation for up to 36 resident readers. Rates available on request (reduced rates for clergy and students).

Background

library shelving floor to ceilingWe are committed to maintaining Gladstone's legacy of engagement with social, moral and spiritual questions by helping people reflect more deeply on the questions that concern them. We do not seek to provide the answers, but we do offer a comfortable, sociable and stimulating environment together with resources for creative study - including renowned collections of theological, historical, cultural and political materials.
We enable our guests to enjoy solitude as well as social interaction and like everyone to leave having encountered something they were not expecting - a book, idea or person, for example.
We have an evolving programme of courses and events that keeps us connected with a wide network of writers and thinkers - and makes us worth re-visiting.Building on William Ewart Gladstone's legacy of a renowned collection of books and a country house for the pursuit of divine learning, Gladstone's Library today encourages research and promotes education in theology, intellectual history and nineteenth-century studies through the growth and preservation of its collections, through the development and support of a fellowship of scholars, through a dedicated programme of courses and lectures and through the display and interpretation of its resources to an ever-widening public.

Collection

Library Gallery with shelves, large roofed two floorsAn Arts / Humanities collection of some 100,000 printed items, particularly strong in Theology, Victorian Studies, History, English Literature, Philosophy and Gladstoniana. Special collections include W.E. Gladstone's personal library of about 32,000 volumes, The Bishop Moorman Franciscan Collection, and the Glynne-Gladstone Manuscripts. The collections are reference only; there are no borrowing facilities. The catalogue is available via the website.

Building

doorway to lounge with comfortable chairsFollowing Gladstone's death in 1898, a public appeal was launched for funds to provide a permanent building to house the collection and to replace the temporary structure. The £9,000 raised provided an imposing building, designed by John Douglas, which was officially opened by Earl Spencer on October 14th 1902 as the National Memorial to W. E. Gladstone. The Gladstone family were themselves to fulfill the founder's vision by funding the residential wing, which welcomed its first resident on June 29th, 1906.The Library is housed in a purpose-built, Grade I listed building.

Status

Registered charity no 701399