Using our collections

Our modern West Country collection is on open access and arranged by counties and towns. 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. Journals and pamphlets may not be borrowed.

Our collections date from the 15th century and we ask all Members to treat our books, manuscripts and illustrations with care. Only pencils and laptops may be used in the Library and food and drink must be consumed in the Courtenay Room. Members can request to see items from our heritage collection, including historic materials relating to the West Country, and we provide book conservation pillows and weights to support the items during use. We encourage Members to request items in advance by email to or by phone 01392 251017.

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 Librarian. Members may photograph materials (no flash) in accordance with current UK copyright legislation and for personal non-commercial use only. The Librarian will consider requests to publish images of items in the collection.

Wifi is available throughout the Library and there are two PCs for use by Members. We subscribe to a number of electronic databases, including Ancestry, History Today and Which magazine.

We are happy to consider items for donation where they complement our collecting policy. Please email the Librarian in the first instance.