That Dreadful Fire: The Hand of God, A Great Wind and A Very Dry Season 
Date: 15 August – 30 November

Wooden buildings, stores of combustibles and overcrowding meant fires were a regular occurrence in 17th-century London. Most were unremarkable. So when a chance fire started in a bakery on 2 September 1666 no one could know that it would wipe out most of the City of London. To commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, this exhibition explores the story of this devastating event through Guildhall Library’s collections, including English and foreign accounts, sermons and public records.


Anatomy of London: Survey of Contemporary London by Tony Phillips 
Date: 4 April – 24 June 2016

For 15 years Tony Phillips has been creating work which investigates the nature of contemporary London, referencing its complexity, diversity and multi-layered history. The project began in 1999 with a joint commission from the Museum of London and Guildhall Library for 24 etchings detailing the history of the city. This exhibition displays the results of this project: pen-and-wash drawings and etchings, which follow in the graphic tradition of social commentary developed by Hogarth and Dorè. Tony Phillips has work in many public collections and his etchings have recently been included in exhibitions at Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Britain.

Reflection cases

London at Night: Photowall Exhibition 
Date: 18 April – 26 August 2016

London is a remarkable city at any time of day, but London at night has a magic all of its own.  Photographer Simon Gregor often leads tourists, and Londoners, on night-time photo walks of the city, to try to discover some of the intrigue, atmosphere and charm of the metropolis “after hours”.  In this exhibition, Simon will share some of his own favourite images of London after dark.

Photowall in full view


Feeding London: The Forgotten Market Gardens 
Date: 4 April – 24 June 2016

The exhibition celebrates the long history of market gardening in South West London, telling the story of commercial food-growing in the area. Sound-recorded memories of workers and families bring the past to life. It will be accompanied by a selection of material from Guildhall Library’s collections. An exhibition curated by Jam Yesterday, Jam Tomorrow, a Heritage Lottery funded project of the Environment Trust.



The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass Through the Ages 
Date: 25 January – 23 March 2016

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass obtained its Royal Charter from Charles I in 1638, although references to a ‘Guild of Glaziers’ exist from as early as 1328. This exhibition takes you on a journey through the life of the Company, from these historical beginnings, to its work in the present day, including supporting students and creating new work, often in secular buildings. On display will be a selection of precious items from their collections.

Drape Wall and Cases 1


Talbot House: An Oasis in a World Gone Crazy
Date: 12 October 2015 – 8 January 2016
In 1915 army chaplain Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton established the Everyman’s Club at Talbot House in the small town of Poperinge, only a few miles from the front line in Ypres. In this house rank was irrelevant, orders were prohibited, and all soldiers were encouraged to forget about the war. This exhibition tracks the story of Tubby and this ‘oasis’ for soldiers during the First World War. It will include items from Talbot House, the memoirs of Tubby and the actual hut in which he wrote them after fleeing the Germans.



Magna Carta
Date: 17 – 25 September 2015
The Guildhall Librarians looked into the collections and found an eclectic variety of books relating to the Magna Carta. These include an early translation into English, items by Wilkes’s and Left-Handed Liberty, a play by John Arden and commissioned by the City of London for the 1965 celebrations of Magna Carta. A selection of these finds were displayed accompanied by the timeline produced by What on Earth Books, which makes connections between the Magna Carta and British history.

Magna Carta of 1297 Retro


London’s Dreadful Visitation: The Great Plague, 1665
Date: 8 July – 11 September 2015
The Great Plague was a haunting event in the City of London, wiping out almost 100,000 people. Whether young or old, man or woman, saint or sinner, it killed mercilessly and changed London forever. This exhibition takes you through Guildhall Library’s plague material, from books to broadsides, which reveal more information about this devastating period of our history.

Plague pic blog


Celebrity Cooks: Mrs Beeton and her Contemporaries
Date: 21 January – 11 April 2015
150 years after her death, Mrs Beeton is still one of the most important figures in food history. But where did she fit into the world of 19th-century celebrity cooks? From her beginnings in the City to the publication of her Book of Household Management, this exhibition examined her impact then and now.

Beeton Pic Blog


From Beef Tea to Battleships: Personal Stories from the First World War
Date: 4 August – 12 November 2014
To commemorate the First World War, Guildhall Library examined the personal accounts and experiences of individuals, including ‘Boy’, who served on the first submarines in the British Navy and wrote to his mother almost every week. On display will be letters, medals and other personal effects.

Beef - Battle Pic



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