Huguenots, Protestantism, immigration
Ca. 6500 books and pamphlets, including ca. 1500 rare books.
Scope and content
The collection focuses on the history of the Huguenots in Great Britain and Ireland, but the library holds material on a much wider span of Huguenot-related-topics, and covers the history of the Huguenots in France and the wider diaspora.Most of the rare books date from the 17th and the 18th centuries, and were printed in France, England, and the Netherlands. Included are works recounting the sufferings of French Protestants in their home country, individual tales of persecutions and conversions, political tracts and pamphlets on religious debate, and histories of the Wars of Religion. Biographies of prominent figures in Huguenot history also feature, as well as early editions of the Bible, psalms, hymns and prayer books. There is also a large collection of sermons by French Protestants.
The library also houses more recent academic works on Huguenot history, which are constantly added to. Also available are around 50 journals, both current and historic. In addition to a complete run of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain’s publications, the periodicals include the journals of Huguenot and related societies from around the world. Finally, the library holds the historic archives of several Huguenot institutions from the late 17th to the early 20th century, and collections of family papers from several Huguenot families.
The Huguenot Library was formed from the print and manuscript collections of the Huguenot Society and the French Hospital libraries. It contains the most complete body of Huguenot literature in this country. Since 1957 it has been housed with UCL Special Collections.
Finding aids and published descriptions
The archive collection is described in the following printed catalogues:
- Raymond Smith, Records of the Royal Bounty and connected funds, the Burn Donation, and the Savoy Church in the Huguenot Library, University College London, London. Huguenot Society of London Quarto Series, 51 (London: Huguenot Society of London, 1974).
- Irvine R. Gray, Huguenot Manuscripts: a descriptive catalogue of the remaining manuscripts in the Huguenot Library. Huguenot Society of London Quarto Series, 56 (London: Huguenot Society of London, 1983).
- Margaret Harcourt Williams, Huguenot Archives: a further catalogue of material held in the Huguenot Library. Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland Quarto Series, 61 (London: Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 2008).
The library is located at The National Archives and is open to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The collection is accessible by appointment only. Appointments should be made at least two weeks in advance of the planned visit by contacting the Librarian.
Visiting the library
More information about visiting, including contact details.
Searching for records
The collection is fully catalogued. To browse the records, conduct a shelfmark search for HUGUENOT LIBRARY on Explore. The records for the archive collection can be found on the UCL Archives catalogue.