NLA's Curator-in-Chief Peter Murray interviews architect Clare Wright on the power of archives and special collections in illustrating the enduring Church-State relationship against the backdrop of Lambeth Palace Library.
Few locations embody the historic twin forces of Church and State than the neighbouring palaces of Lambeth and Westminster.
Peter Murray and Clare Wright explore the relationship between the two through the lens of Wright & Wright Architects’ latest intervention, a public library and archive, built on the edge of the grounds of the majestic Grade I listed Lambeth Palace, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and which houses the church's collection of visual and intellectual riches. This state-of-the-art facility, home to the most important collection in Europe of religious texts outside the Vatican, promises to conserve and preserve these precious manuscripts, printed books, and archives for posterity. A bold statement on the skyline with a viewing terrace overlooking Westminster, the new building offers a unique opportunity to access world class treasures.
How are these historic records of the UK’s social and political development still relevant today and what does this new accessibility tell us about the role of Church and State in modern times?