What started out as a collection of magazines and Victorian bookshelves has become an important source of politically impartial information on matters affecting the United Kingdom. For 200 years, the House of Commons Library has been a rich archive for MPs and increasingly for the public.
22-year-old Benjamin Spiller was the first librarian in the lower house in 1818. A redesigned suite for a collection that had outgrown a small space was completed by architect John Soane in 1828, but was expected to last less than a decade.
While an attempt was made to dispose of counter sticks that were no longer used on the evening of October 16, 1834, the clerk accidentally set fire to the Palace of Westminster. The library and two thirds of its collection were destroyed, including a number of recor...
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