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Requesting items and advance ordering

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Ordering items in the library

The majority of Guildhall Library's collection is 'closed access' meaning that the items are kept in store. Store items can be requested in advance by submitting an advance order form (24 hours notice required), upon arrival at the library via the catalogue or by completing a paper request slip. Items are delivered within 20 minutes.

Accessing manuscripts, rare books and the Lloyd's Marine collection

One form of ID, such as a passport or driving licence or any library or archive membership card is required to consult manuscripts, rare books and the Lloyds Marine collection. 

You will be asked to sign in and to observe the rules for the use of rare books and manuscripts. The following manuscripts can be consulted at Guildhall Library:

  • The Stock Exchange archives and printed collections
  • Lloyd's of London archives and printed collections (except the Lloyd's Captain's Registers, which remain at LMA)
  • The City of London Livery Company archives (and some associated collections)

All other archive and manuscript collections and archive services for the City of London are concentrated at London Metropolitan Archives.

Advance order 

The bookstores close on Saturdays between 12noon and 2pm which means orders made in the library during those times cannot be delivered until after 2pm. If you intend using the library at that time, we recommend you advance order your items. 

  • Items can be ordered up to seven days in advance.
  • You can order up to six printed items or five manuscript items with a maximum order of six items.
  • Last collection time is 4pm.
  • We will email you if an item requested via advance order is not available.
  • 24 hours minimum notice is required.

Simply fill out the advance order form with your requirements and your items will be waiting for you on your nominated date.

Last order times

  • For same day delivery, place order by 4pm
  • Advance order, a minimum of 24 hours is required
  • Offsite items, a minimum of 72 hours is required

Offsite materials

Certain items such as Voyage Record Cards and some Stock Exchange records material are kept off site and need to be ordered in advance of your visit. Simply contact the library 72 hours in advance of your visit to place your order.

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