Inner Temple Library
|Established||circa Henry VII; the original building in existence by 1506|
|Location||Inner Temple, London,
|Size||Over 70,000 volumes of English law|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Written application to the Librarian, to use material not available elsewhere|
|Population served||Barristers, judges, and student members
of the Inns of Court
|Director||Margaret Clay (Librarian and Keeper of Manuscripts)|
The Inner Temple Library is a private law library in Central London, England, serving barristers, judges, and students on the Bar Professional Training Course. Its parent body is the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court.
Its law collections cover the legal systems of the British Isles (England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and also Commonwealth countries. There are, in addition, extensive non-law collections covering such subjects as history, topography, biography and heraldry, and an important collection of legal and historical manuscripts.
The Library is first mentioned in 1440, then in the Inn’s records in 1506. The Library refused to accept John Selden's manuscripts in 1654, most likely because the size of the collection would have necessitated a new building, but it has been described as "the greatest loss which the Library of the Inner Temple ever sustained". One building burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and in 1678 another was blown up to stop a fire from spreading in the Temple. In 1707 the Inner Temple was offered the Petyt Manuscripts (William Petyt had been Keeper of the Records in the Tower, and a well-known writer of constitutional law) and a sum of £150 to build a new Library, which was completed in 1709 and consisted of three rooms. A Librarian was appointed immediately, and the practice continues to this day.
The library building before World War II was a Gothic building built in 1827-8 by Sir Robert Smirke, contained about 60,000 volumes, and formed part of a larger building. Modifications were made in 1867, 1872, and 1882 which extended the Library to eight rooms In 1886, J.E.L. Pickering, Librarian, read a paper at the Library Association monthly meeting on a 5-month trial at the Library, entitled "The Electric Light as Applied to the Lighting of the Inner Temple Law Library".
The building was destroyed during the Second World War: several thousand volumes of printed books (but none of the manuscripts) were lost. The destroyed books were mostly replaced, either by gift or purchase, over the next 30 years or so.
The present building was completed in 1958 to the design of T.W. Sutcliffe, and is in the style of the eighteenth century. It is on two floors above the private rooms of the benchers, and its natural, unstained English oak wood-panelled L-shape roughly matches that of the prior building.
The history of the Library is discussed in some detail in the introduction to J. Conway Davies's Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (Oxford, 1972).
The Library is open to all members of the four Inns of Court. The Library is not open to the public, though non-members may be admitted, upon written application to the Librarian, to consult material not available elsewhere.
- Inner Temple Library – Welcome page – accessed 22 January 2010
- Inner Temple Papers, p. 234, Taylor & Francis, 1948, MacKinnon, Sir Frank Douglas, accessed 25 November 2009
- "Library History". Inner Temple. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
- "The libraries of London," Edition 2, Irwin, Raymond, and Staveley, Ronald, Library Association, 1964, accessed 25, November 2009
- Great Britain Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, ''Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Volume 11, Part 7, The Manuscripts of the Duke of Leeds, the Bridgewater Trust, Reading Corporation, the Inner Temple, &c, James Joel Cartwright'', H.M. Stationery Office (1888), accessed 26 November 2009. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Library History – 18th century". Inner Temple. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- London illustrated, 1604–1851: a survey and index of topographical books and their plates, Adams, Bernard, Library Association, 1983, ISBN 0-85365-734-3, ISBN 978-0-85365-734-7, accessed 25 November 2009
- The Scottish law review and Sheriff Court reports, Volume 15, Scotland. Sheriff Courts, William Hodge and Co., 1899, accessed 25 November 2009
- ''A pictorial and descriptive guide to London and its environs: with two large section plans of central London; map of London and twelve miles round; two railway maps; map showing main roads out of London; plan of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and twenty other maps and plans. Over one hundred ...,'' Edition 35, p. 193, Ward, Lock & Co., limited, 1910, accessed 25 November 2009. Books.google.com. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Library History – 19th century". Inner Temple. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
- "The Electric Light as Applied to the Lighting of the Inner Temple Law Library", The Library chronicle, Pickering, J.E.L., Volume 3, p. 173, Library Association, Editor Ernest Chester Thomas, 1886
- "Huge Bombs Fall; Nazis Batter Center of City—Use New Routes in 13th Night of Siege; More Landmarks Struck: British Museum, Inner Temple and Home Office Hit, but Vital Plants Carry On" Daniell, Raymond, The New York Times, 20 September 1940, accessed 25 November 2009
- "Havoc in "The City"; Ancient Guildhall and Historic Churches Are Wreckedl Fire Bombs Spread Ruin; British Charge a 'Deliberate' Nazi Attempt to Destroy Heart of the Capital Censorship Restrictions Lifted Old Bailey Another Victim; Firemen Killed and Injured; Raid Held Invasion Prelude; Reprisai Clamor Expected; Only One Raider During Day" The New York Times, 31 December 1940, accessed 25 November 2009
- [ Displaying Abstract ] (2012-06-10). ""Guildhall Housed Many Treasures; Originally Built 500 Years Ago, It Was Damaged in the Great Fire of 1666; Wren Churches Struck; St. Bride's, St. Vedast and St. Lawrence Jewry Among Them -Priceless Books Burned", ''The New York Times'', 31 December 1940, accessed 25 November 2009". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "London Letter" 26 A.B.A. J. 935 (10 October 1940), accessed 25, November 2009
- "Breem, W.W.S., "Sketch of the Inner Temple Library," 64 Law Libr. J. 5 (1971), accessed 25 November 2009". Heinonline.org. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- Inner Temple Library – Using the Library – accessed 22 January 2010
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Inner Temple.|
- Official website
- "AccessToLaw: annotated legal links maintained by Inner Temple Library"
- Drysdale, William, "About the Inns of the Court; Twenty Acres in the Heart of London Given Over to Lawyers and Students. Wales and his Bitter Beer Prayers and Champagne at the Morning Service for the Lawyers and Their Friends in the Old Church of the Knights Templars," The New York Times, 11 July 1897
- Davies, James Conway, Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple: The Petyt Collection: MSS. 534–538. The Barrington Collection: MSS. 2–85. Records of the Inner Temple: MSS. 1–10; Volume 2 of Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, Inner Temple (London, England), Oxford University Press for the Masters of the Bench of the Inner Temple, 1972