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On the books

THE Church of England has expanded its central website to include a section on libraries and archives (

The new area is essentially a portal to the documentary heritage of the Church of England, and contains information about Lambeth Palace Library, the Church of England Record Centre, and the library of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division. There are also links to other ecclesiastical libraries and archives in the UK.

The Lambeth Palace Library has 4600 manuscripts - some from the ninth century - and 200,000 printed books, and is one of Britain's oldest public libraries. The catalogue is online. A free reader's ticket is granted at the librarian's discretion.

"I hope these pages will provide a gateway to the many and varied collections in the Church, and will improve the awareness and use of these hidden gems," says Declan Kelly, the director of libraries, archives and information services.

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