St Bride Library was opened in 1895. It was both a technical library and printing school; the school eventually moved out and is now the London College of Communication.
From the beginning the Library served the printing trade but was also a great collection of typographic literature that incorporated the library of William Blades, master printer and author of a study of William Caxton. Other important collections were added, including those of Talbot Baines Reed, a type founder and historian, and John Southward, a technical print journalist. These initial purchases gave the Library the basis of an excellent compilation of early printing, as well as unrivalled collections of catalogues, prospectuses and specimens.