The Society of Genealogists Library

Accessing Our Collections

Our library offers a wide range of publications, from quick reference books to instructional resources and record guides to general and local history collections. Whether you are a beginner, an expert, or somewhere in between, our library is the perfect place to come to investigate your family history or further your genealogical skills.

Our library is open to all members and to non-members (for a day pass fee). You are welcome to visit at any time during our opening hours; however, not all of our collections are kept on-site, so to guarantee access to the material you need or to reserve a computer, please book in advance.
For information on our opening hours, how to book your visit, travel to our new home, and pre-order collection items please see our Visit Us page.

Use the following to find items that may be useful for your research, with details to include in your Collections Order Form:

  • SoG Library Catalogue for published works. Look at the location field in catalogue records to find out if an item is held in the library or in our offsite store.
  • Archives Finding Aids for items in our special collections, small collections and document collections. Use the information given in the finding aids to order archival items from our offsite store.
  • Online Resources for resources members can access at home including digital resources and indexes, memorial cards and family trees.
  • Collections Guides (below on this page) that give an overall view of what is held in our collections, and some detail on particular subject areas.

If you’re planning to visit our Research Hub, we recommend that you watch Else Churchill’s insightful guide here.

Can't visit us? See details on accessing collections remotely.

Collections Guides

Our comprehensive guides below explain the range of resources available at the Society of Genealogists. They are a great way of finding out more information about our holdings, their formats, and their availability. We're regularly creating more research guides and would be delighted to hear from you about any subjects you would like us to cover. To let us know your thoughts or to inquire about specific collections, please contact

Collections Guides

Online Collections

A guide to our Online Collections

Library Collections

A guide to our Library Collections

Archive Collections

A guide to our Archive Collections

Sources for Jewish Genealogy

A guide to our sources for Jewish Genealogy

Sources for Huguenot Genealogy

A guide to our sources for Huguenot Genealogy

JSTOR Resources

A guide to JSTOR's 19th Century British Pamphlet and Ireland Collections.

February 2024 Library Update

It's been a pleasure welcome visitors to our new library, and great to see how many of you have come into the new building to research, take a tour, and have a look around the facilities. The new library is still very much a work in progress, and we appreciate all the feedback we have received from visitors in your post-visit survey forms - your comments and suggestions will help us to make improvements to library collections access and services.

  • We are still in the process of retrieving our microfiche cabinets from storage to house our many items in this format. When the cabinets are installed, adjacent to the library enquiry desk, we'll retrieve and refile the fiche into their correct order, and we appreciate your patience in the meantime. After this is done the fiche will be permanently on site and it will not be necessary to order them.
  • We hare some way along to filling the remainder of the new library shelves.
    For those of you who have requested some Irish research material, we now have over nearly 1100 items now showing in the catalogue as having the location 'Library: Ireland'. This section contains the following sub-sections: Ireland general, local, registers and monumental inscriptions.
    We have nearly finished processing sections for Heraldry general, special, armorial, bookplates and periodicals with 250 items so far showing in the catalogue as having the location 'Library: Heraldry'.
    We are about to process in our volumes of Birth Briefs for keeping permanently onsite, as we've had several recent requests for these. Indexes for the Birth Briefs can be found in SoG Data Online. If you find a family or individual you are interested in, note the volume and sheet reference information so that when you visit it will be easy to find the particular birth brief you want to look at.
    Information about further library material being added to the shelves will appear in the March update.
  • Our featured collection of material relating to Huguenot research will be in the library until the end of February. Else Churchill gave a talk about Huguenot material in our library and you can view it on our YouTube channel:
    See also our Huguenot research collections guide: 
    Our next featured collection will also be non-conformist - material relating to Roman Catholic research which will be on the Featured Collection shelves for March and April.

The library is open 10am-4pm Wednesday-Friday every week plus opening two Saturdays per month (on the second and fourth Saturdays). Information and links to help you find library and archival collection items for your research have been updated and appear at the top of the page. Members don't need to book a visit, but it is a good way to ensure there is a computer or desk space ready for you, especially if you are travelling a long distance.
If you require collection items from offsite storage, do make sure you fill in your collections order form (link given above) at least one week before your visit so we can be sure to have your material ready for you.
Get in touch anytime if you have any questions at all about accessing our collections and services.

Christine Worthington, Library Coordinator

Access Collections Remotely
  • Members who cannot visit us can use our library catalogue and (with your member login) search our online collections, for any items that may be of interest to your research.
  • Send your research questions to Our genealogy staff can assist our members with general research inquiries, basic lookups and referrals.
  • If you have identified a collection item you are interested in, contact Our genealogy staff can retrieve items from our library shelves and offsite storage, and provide scans of tables of contents and itemised reports of special and small collections so you can see what's inside them. A copy service is available which can provide copies of pages and images from items (subject to coyright) in our collections for a fee.

If you are looking for a professional researcher to carry out more in-depth or comprehensive research on your behalf, please take a look at our comprehensive guide Employing a Professional Genealogist, which provides details on both the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) and the Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG).

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We all have roots. Let’s find them together.

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