We are a thriving Independent Historic Library and Educational Charity, welcoming new members of all ages.
We are open as usual: Tuesdays to Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm.
Contact us:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Using our collections

We offer our Members a bookable bespoke research service to access our collections, including our heritage collection. Staff are on hand to assist and to answer enquiries, including by email and telephone.

Accessing the collections 

Our collections are open to all Members in the Inner Library by appointment, Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am to 5.00pm and Saturday, 10.00am to 4.00pm.  Appointments can be made in advance via WebCollect, telephone (01392 251017) or email to [email protected]

Our modern collection and modern West Country collection are available for loan.  Members may borrow up to six books (and three DVDs) for a period of one month and items may be renewed if not required by another member.  Categories of material that cannot be borrowed include damaged items, journals and periodicals, pamphlets, and items from our heritage collection.

Members may request to see all items from our heritage collection, including historic materials relating to the West Country. Several desks in the Inner Library are reserved for users of the heritage collection and staff are on hand to retrieve items from the shelves and to provide book conservation pillows and weights to support the items during use.

Reproducing the collections

The copying of materials from our collections, including the use of personal copying equipment such as scanners, is not permitted except at the discretion of the Director of Collections and Research. Members may photograph materials (no flash) in accordance with current UK copyright legislation and for personal non-commercial use only. The Director of Collections and Research will consider requests to publish images of items in the collection.

Research facilities

Wifi is available throughout the Library and there are two PCs and two printers for use by Members; printing costs 10p per sheet for black and white and 20p per sheet for colour. We subscribe to a broad range of electronic databases and academic research resources, including Ancestry.

We run an enquiry service for Members by email, phone and in person at the Library desk; non-members pay a small research fee. Library staff will respond to all enquiries within 20 working days.

Study spaces

Members who do not wish to consult the collections but who would like a quiet space to work or to read may use the upstairs Reading Room and Stirling Room if the rooms are not being used for meetings. The Outer Library is also available for relaxation and for reading newspapers and magazines.


Refreshments are for sale in the Courtenay Room at the rear of the building.  Please note that collection items may not be taken from the Inner Library.