About the library
Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives document the experiences of everyday people, and the extraordinary individuals and organisations who have strived for social, political and cultural change. A reference only library, it is free and open for anyone to come and visit.
Since it opened to the public in 1895, the library and archives have been steadily growing, with unique collections gifted and loaned to us. Some are London focused, but the lives they preserve and the issues they explore have national and global resonance.
The collections offer both breadth and depth. We have over 150,000 books, pamphlets, maps and photographs of London, an extensive and nationally renowned LGBTQ+ archive and library collection, collections on women's history, labour and socialist history, Protest and Campaigning, Co-operative Movement and Free-thought and Humanism.
The local library catalogue is available online.
Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? No.
Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? No - this library does not participate in the inter-library lending scheme.
Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - see the library's website for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance, to ensure that they can accommodate you and that the material you need will be available.
Browse all of the Bishopsgate Institute's records in Library Hub Discover here.