- London Institution
The London Institution was an educational institution founded in London in 1806.
The Institution was established in 1806, in the house of Sir William Clayton, in the
Old Jewryin the City of London. Its aim, as its full title proclaimed, was the 'advancement of Literature and the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge'. It was modelled on the Royal Institutionin London's West End and held a large library. Richard Porson, the first librarian, died in the rooms of the Institution in 1808.
On May 4 1815 the foundation stone was laid for a new building in
Finsbury Circus. The architect of the elegant stone structure was William Brooks. The building opened on April 21 1819 containing a library, reading-rooms, a lecture-room capable of containing 750 people, a laboratory and other amenities.
The library, held over 60,000 volumes, and was particularly rich in topographical works, collected while
William Upcottwas librarian. Edward William Brayleywas a long-serving librarian.
Chemistry was one of the main activities of the Institution, considering the volume and variety of its presentations, and the high standing of its lecturers. These included
Michael Faraday, Playfair, Norman Lockyer, and Sir William Ramsay, and many other visiting lecturers. The Institution's laboratory was limited in size and facilities, but catered for instruction in practical chemistry. Between 1863 and 1884 it gained the reputation as a significant centre of chemical research under the professorships of James Alfred Wanklynand H. E. Armstrong who published frequently in chemical periodicals as 'From the Laboratory of the London Institution'. This role of the Institution declined as universities became increasingly concerned with the systematic study of chemistry.
The building was demolished in 1936.
*Peter Cunningham, "Hand-Book of London", 1850
*Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to its Sights, 1844
*Manley "E. B. Nicholson and the London Institution" Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.1973; 5: 52-77
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