RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoSion L40.2
Extent318 volumes, 6 boxes, 2 files
Date11th century - 20th century
DescriptionSion College was founded under the will of Thomas White (d. 1624), Vicar of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, as an association of the clergy in the city of London. White's executor, John Simson, extended the original scheme to include a Library. Printed books and manuscripts began to be assembled from 1629. The Library grew rapidly, and already held a substantial collection by 1650 when its catalogue was first printed. The Fire of London in 1666 brought severe losses, including many English and Latin manuscripts, but the Library recovered and continued to expand until its closure in 1996.

The Sion College manuscripts are arranged by language, comprising English (234 vols, 6 boxes, 2 files), French (1 vol), Greek (14 vols), Hebrew (3 vols), Latin (45 vols), and Oriental (21 vols).

Additional manuscript items are bound amongst the printed books and pamphlets of Sion College.
AccrualsNo further accruals.
FindingAidsThe Lambeth Palace Library online catalogue of manuscripts and archives holds the fullest descriptions of the Sion manuscripts.

For English and Latin manuscripts, cf. C J Kitching, 'Summary list of the Latin and English manuscripts in Sion College Library, London' (typescript, Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, 1990); copy included in Sion L40.2/E173.
For medieval manuscripts (English and Latin), cf. N.R. Ker, 'Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, volume 1: London' (Oxford, 1969), pp. 263-91. This work also provides a list of manuscripts belonging to Sion College before the fire of 1666.

The catalogue of the manuscripts (all language series) used at Sion College 1909-1996 is now Sion L40.2/E175 (copy in Library Reading Room in card index form).
AdminHistoryFor the history of Sion College, see:

Elizabeth Edmonston, "Unfamiliar Libraries IX: Sion College", in 'The Book Collector', vol 14 (1965), pp. 165-177.

Gordon Huelin, 'Sion College and Library, 1912-1990' (London: Sion College, 1992).

Richard Palmer, 'Sion College and its Library in the City of London', Worshipful Company of Barbers Denny Lecture, 2002. Typescript. Copy in the Library at H5052 1.01.

Richard Palmer, 'In the steps of Sir Thomas Bodley: the libraries of Lambeth Palace and Sion College in the 17th century', in Lambeth Palace Library Annual Review 2006, pp. 53-67.

E. H. Pearce, 'Sion College and Library' (Cambridge, 1913).
CustodialHistoryOn the closure of Sion College Library in June 1996, the manuscripts, along with the books printed before 1850 and the entire pamphlet collection, were transferred to Lambeth Palace Library. The post-1850 books were transferred to the Library of King's College London.

For a guide to historic catalogues of Sion material see:

The manuscript collections were referenced ARC L40.2 in the Sion Library.
RelatedMaterialThe archive of Sion College is at London Metropolitan Archives, including Court minutes. Also included is a Sion College account book 17-18th century (former ref: B45.1d S17) transferred from Lambeth Palace Library in 2002.

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Related name records
NA1938Sion College; 1630-1630-
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