HedgcockOne of the established aims of the CLS when it was founded in 1935 was to form a collection of Eliana to be preserved for the public. Originally, the Society’s collection was housed in the Central Library, Fore Street in Edmonton, under the care of Mr F. E. Sandry. A system was established to allow CLS members to borrow books for study, either by post or in person. By 1955 the Collection contained approximately 1600 items. As a result a separate area to accommodate the CLS collection, The Charles Lamb Room, was officially opened on 10 September 1955. Over the years, the growth of the CLS Collection has benefitted from the generosity of several Elian collectors.

In the late 1970s the Collection of books (and various papers) was moved to the Guildhall Library. The remaining archive and ephemera collections were later gathered together at the United Reformed Church in Putney. In May 1993 it was decided to transfer the remaining collection at Putney and unite the archive at Guildhall Library where it now remains, nestling closely alongside Lamb’s old haunts in the city. The collection of books, archive, pictures, maps, and ephemera has been distributed between the three sections at Guildhall Library and the oil paintings deposited with Guildhall Art Gallery, all with their own specialist staff.

Researchers who would like to consult the Collection are requested to contact the Library well in advance.

To view Deborah K. Hedgecock’s Handlist to The Charles Lamb Society Collection at Guildhall Library (London, 1995) click here.