As the Society moves  through its transformation into a research institution fit for the 21st Century we will be implementing a number of changes in the library from 1st April 2018. These changes will help us to manage our collections more efficiently, making them more economically sustainable, as well as improving access for researchers.

  1. From 1st April the library collections will become reference only. This means that members will no longer be able to borrow books. In preparation for our premises move we will need to conduct a full audit and plan the space required for our new library shelving. This requires all of the stock for movement to be in our London premises.
    1. If you currently have books on loan then these will need to be returned by 31st March 2018. No further loans will be permitted after 1st March 2018. If you are unable to return your book(s) in person then please arrange for the postage of it/them via a tracked postal service. Failure to return books will result in a bill being sent to cover the replacement of the volume(s). Email reminder notices will be sent in March 2018.
  2. A new day rate will be charged to non-members wishing to use the library. This will be £5 per day. Full members that have renewed their subscriptions will be provided with a reader pass which will provide them with entry to the library as a privilege of their membership. All visitors, including members, must sign-in to use the collections and should do this with the Collections Manager or Deputy Director when they arrive at the premises.
    1. You can apply for your reader pass during your visit to the library. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions in advance of your visit. You will be required to renew your pass each time you renew your membership. Lost passes will be replaced at a charge of £5, there will not be a charge for your initial card each year.
  3. Library rules regarding the use of pens, and taking in of bags and coats, will be enforced as usual. Volunteers working in the library or archive have instructions to enforce these rules and we ask that you respect them too. Opening and closing times (Monday – Thursday, 10:30-16:30) will also be enforced and last entry for visitors will be 16:00.
  4. In order for visitors to be accommodated in the small space we currently have, new lighting has been installed to make the downstairs areas more comfortable. Thanks to a donor, we have installed new daylight quality bulbs and reading lamps for the desks in darker areas.
  5. As you will no longer be able to borrow books we appreciate that you may need to copy some material. You are welcome to bring a camera with you, or to use the photocopier in the main office. Photocopying charges are currently priced at 10p per black and white A4 sheet. You may prefer to scan your material onto a USB memory stick. The copier in the main office has this facility up to A3 in size and we do not charge for this. If you require assistance with your copying then please ask a member of staff if available.
  6. Tea and coffee facilities are available in the office kitchen though we ask that you use the seating available in the kitchen or main office and do not take food or drink into the library.

We hope that these changes will create a more comfortable and constructive environment in which to conduct your research in the library and we look forward to welcoming you in the 2018-19 subscription year.

All of our library collection is available to search on our online catalogue here: There is no need to book your library visits in advance (unless applying for a reader pass), though appointments are still necessary to research in our archives.