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Library History

The following history of the Library is an edited, updated and illustrated version of A Sketch of the Inner Temple Library by Wallace Breem, Librarian and Keeper of Manuscripts 1965-1990. A PDF version of A History of the Library is also available

16th and 17th Century
Includes: Sir Edward Coke; Library destroyed in Great Fire 1666; Library blown up in 1679

18th Century
Includes: Petyt MSS e.g. 12th century Macrobius, Lady Jane Grey letter signed as Queen; 1709 new Library built; Joshua Blew appointed as Librarian

19th Century
Includes: First printed classified catalogue 1806; increase in Library accommodation; 1892 new catalogue prepared by typewriter

20th and 21st Century
Includes: Gift of 15th century manuscripts; Library destroyed by air raids in 1941/42; new Library opens in 1958; catalogue of MSS 1972; introduction of automation 1991