Library of the Religious Society of Friends

Repository code: GB 0111
Address: Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London
Postcode: NW1 2BJ
Telephone: 020 7663 1135
Fax: 020 7663 1001
Enquiries: The Archivist
Strengths: The Library is the repository for one of the largest collections of materials in the world relating to Quakers and their activities. As well as looking after the central archives of Britain Yearly Meeting (which is the name for the organisation of Quakers in Britain), it also holds printed material, manuscripts and pictures. The library was established in 1673 when the Second Day Morning Meeting agreed to acquire two copies of everything written by Quakers and one copy of everything written against them. This is still attempted, but it is no longer possible to be comprehensive, especially for American publications. Books, pamphlets and periodicals from the 17th century onwards cover Quaker history and thought. There are also collections of material on subjects in which Quakers have been active, such as peace and anti-slavery. Three broad categories of archives and manuscripts are kept by the library: 1. The archives of Britain Yearly Meeting and its committees (including Meeting for Sufferings, its executive committee). These are committees responsible for the work of Friends in Great Britain and overseas. 2. The archives of London & Middlesex General Meeting and its subordinate monthly and local meetings. This covers Greater London, Middlesex, and some parts of Essex, Kent and Surrey which border on London. 3. Private and family papers, and archives of some Quaker organisations which are not administratively part of Britain Yearly Meeting (for example, Friends Ambulance Unit), and other bodies with Quaker associations. Visual materials are mostly photographic (including a substantial collection of lantern slides), although there is a small number of paintings and prints. Subjects consist mostly of portraits of Friends, meeting houses, and aspects of Quaker work both here and abroad.
Mundus collections: 1
Access conditions: A fee may be payable. Book in advance. Letter of introduction required. Wheelchair access. Photocopying, microfilm printouts and picture reproduction: there is no self-service facility in the library, but the reproduction of certain materials can be ordered for a fee.
Opening hours: Monday,Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 13.00 - 17.00. Wednesday: 10.00 - 17.00.