The Society of Friends is proud of its history and traditions – the London library of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain is the repository for one
of the most important collections of materials in the world relating to Quakers and their activities, it is their ‘archaeology of knowledge’ and indicates the importance of the written word to its members. Started in 1673, the library adopted a policy to acquire two copies of everything written by Quakers and one copy of everything written against them. The collection covers Quaker history and thought, including topics in which Quakers have been socially and politically active, such as peace, anti-slavery, penal reform and relief work. The library also holds the central archives and records of the Britain Yearly Meeting, the governmental process of the organisation. Quakers tend to be a highly literate group of organic intellectuals deliberately cognisant of their religious identity and history, but also significantly cosmopolitan in their curiosity toward other faiths and views.