The Biography Collection at Kensington Central Library

Kensington Central Library is home to the Biography Collection, which contains approximately 80,000 books with over 1,000 new titles added each year. It began as part of the Metropolitan Special Collection which was set up among the London boroughs in the 1950s. Every title in the collection is available to view and borrow.

The collection includes:

  • biographies
  • autobiographies
  • diaries
  • journals
  • collections of letters
  • speeches

The works of renowned public speakers like Winston Churchill and prolific letter writers such as Queen Victoria can be found here. We also stock collected biographies (about more than one person). Many of our holdings are out of print (the earliest we have date back to the early 1700s) and difficult to find elsewhere. Over the years we’ve amassed books from other public libraries, academic institutions as well as donations from members of the public. This makes our collection as unique as it is expansive.

What’s fascinating about the Biography Collection is the range of interests it caters to. Many of our titles cross into other subjects with artists, scientists, world leaders and historical figures. From works of academic research to light-hearted showbiz stories, there’s something in the Biography Collection for everyone.

Biographical databases