The library was founded by Robert Ashley when he donated his own personal library. This collection consisted of 4,000 items including 80 volumes from John Donne’s personal library.
The building where the library is located was built in the 1950’s after the war. The architect was so paranoid about the building getting bombed that it was constructed using reinforced concrete. Over the last few years, some of the rooms have been converted to make space for meeting facilities. The librarian I spoke with expressed his opinion that this is a positive move for the library as it will bring more people in the doors and spread awareness of the library. Some of his colleagues disagree however.
Materials from the library include journals, reference books, trials and ecclesiastical law from the US, EU, Scotland and Ireland. You finicky librarians out there are going to cringe about this little fact nugget but there is no classification scheme. Not to worry though, the librarians seem to manage the collections just fine using alphabetic organization. There are no subject areas so there is no confusion. All editions of text books are kept so that precedent could be traced.
Noteworthy honorary members of Middle Temple include Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
*The amazing display cap above is by Jessica Hische, an amazing designer I came across in my perpetual search for awesome design and typography. The letter comes from her Daily Drop Cap project.