The Ancient Library

AncientLib1 Ancientlib2

The Ancient Library was founded by Dr Miles Mosse in 1595 as a resource for clergy training. There are over 550 books, mainly printed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  The library, in a room over the north-west porch designed by Stephen Dykes Bower in 1960, has bookcases made by Leonard Goff in 2004.

Click here to see a list of the books in the library.
Click here to see the people who have donated books to the library or whose autographs appear in the books

More information about the editions held can be found by:

- searching for 'Bury St Edmunds CL' in the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue
- selecting 'search by' 'library name' and entering 'Bury St Edmunds Cathedral' in the English Short Title Catalogue
searching in COPAC. Click on 'Cathedral Libraries (Heritage Catalogue)' in 'Library' and in the drop box which then appears choose 'Bury St Edmunds Cathedral' in COPAC. Individual works can then be accessed by using its CLC number e.g. A116 

Articles about the Ancient Library can be found here

If you would like information about donors, pastedowns or marginalia, or would like to visit the library, please contact the librarian through the Cathedral Office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01284 748730. 


Luther 500


The present exhibition of books in the Treasury marks the 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg and began the Reformation.

There are volumes by Luther, Melanchthon and Chemnitz and Luther’s introduction to the Koran. They describe the reforms Luther wished to make to the Church, the martyrdom of English Lutherans and the involvement of Henry VIII.

Donors include Henry Blagge, one of the godly gentry, Richard Mawe and Richard Gipps, town councillors, and William Branthwayte, Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

The books contain the signature of Miles Mosse, the founder of the library, dating from 1595 and the accounts of the building works at the Palace of Enfield ordered by Lord Protector Somerset for the young Edward VI in 1547.

Luther Poster