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The Libraries of George III

George III amassed an extensive collection of books and manuscripts

Watercolour of Buckingham House's East Library
James Stephanoff, 'Buckingham House: the East Library' (RCIN 922140) ©

George III’s book collections share several similarities to those of a country gentleman of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Many of the topics covered in his libraries were common features of contemporary book collections: ‘useful books’ that aimed to demonstrate an understanding of the world through the sciences, humanities, classics, arts, philosophy and theology. The king was also a keen bibliophile with his own interests in science, architecture and agriculture.

Explore the sections below to learn more about the holdings of George III's libraries.

This view of one of the King’s four library rooms - entitled by Pyne The King’s Library (II) - shows the fine octagonal room added at the south-eastern extent of Buckingham House. These rooms occupied a wing added by Chambers to the southern e
The King's Libraries

George III established a working library at Buckingham House

Hayendanegea, The Book of Common Prayer (RCIN 1054767)
Law and Religion

George III maintained an awareness of contemporary works on law as well as theological tracts

watercolour of Chinese boat

George III kept up to date with the histories and politics of European nations

Joseph Priestley, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air (RCIN 1090168)
Arts and Sciences

The arts and sciences were of personal interest to George III

image of house in landscape from Sir Walter Scott novel

Prose, poetry, drama, rhetoric, belles-lettres and even folk songs are in George III's collection at Windsor Castle

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