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Project information

Adopt a Book at Worcester Cathedral Library

Worcester Cathedral's library is ranked among the most important in the country for medieval studies. It contains nearly 300 manuscripts, maps, plans, drawings, books and archives dating from the 10th Century onwards. The collection is invaluable and attracts scholars from all over the world.

It is ongoing

Charity information: Worcester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral logo
  • Need


    Through the dedication of previous and present generations, much has been achieved in cataloguing and conservation. But more remains to be done and it is an on-going project. A programme of cleaning and refurbishing the printed books is continuing and it is vital that many books which require the skills of a professional book conservator can be repaired.


    Supporting the Library at Worcester Cathedral will secure the future of an internationally important collection of music and manuscripts for future generations.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To catalogue and conserve the 300 medieval manuscripts, 5500 books, and 20,000 archival documents.


    » We receive no statutory state funding so we rely entirely on charitable donations.

    What success will look like

    The success will be evidenced in the cataloguing and conserving of the collection.

  • Impact


    Our long term aim is to create an endowment with the object of making the Library self- financing.


    The risks are that internationally important manuscripts deteriorate without the funding to conserve them.


    We write to donors at least twice per year with an update and invitation to visit the Cathedral.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £375

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £25 Adopt a Book Adopt a book printed after 1700
      £50 Adopt a Book Adopt a book printed from 1601-1700
      £100 Adopt a Book Adopt a book printed from 1501-1600
      £200 Adopt a Book Adopt a book printed before 1501
  • Background


    Worcester Cathedral is a vibrant community which has served the city and the diocese of Worcester since the Seventh Century. It attracts over 300,000 visitors each year from all over the world. As a top 10 Heritage City and ranked as England’s safest city, Worcester is a favourite destination for tourists and families and was recently voted in the top 5 of England's most cultural cities. In 2017, the Cathedral was voted in the top 10 of the UK’s free to visit tourist attractions.


    This project involves the whole community of every race, creed, ability and socio-economic group - that is the focus of our vision for Welcoming Visitors and Engaging with Society. The Library is used by scholars from universities and institutions throughout the world. We provide employment and work experience for students and conservators and welcome everyone to enjoy the wonderful treasures of the Library.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The library and archives contain medieval manuscripts, maps, plans, drawings and books compiled by monks and the dean and chapter from the Middle Ages right through to the present day.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    David Morrison

    The Cathedral Librarian

    Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen

    Canon Theologian


adopts a book printed before 1501

The collection's highlights include the oldest surviving copy of the Venerable Bede's work on grammar and poetry, made in Canterbury Cathedral, dating back to the 10th Century.

David Morrison, Cathedral Librarian