The Manuscripts sequence at Lambeth Palace Library comprises a collection of material created by a diverse range of individuals and organisations, both within and outside the Church of England. The material has been accumulated by acquisitions made over several centuries, including some material which strictly forms part of the archive of the Archbishops of Canterbury. The contents, both single volumes and collections of material, cover not only ecclesiastical history but other subjects, ranging for instance through architectural, colonial, political and social history. Numbered from MS. 1, the series continues to accrue beyond MS. 4500. The manuscripts date from the 9th century to the present day, including some 600 medieval manuscripts.
Lambeth Palace Library is the historic library of the Archbishops of Canterbury, founded in 1610. It is the principal library and record office for the history of the Church of England, holding, in addition to the Archbishops' archives, material acquired from other sources.