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 visit free of charge and non-members pay a day pass fee of £20. You're welcome to visit any time during our opening hours: 10.30am-4.00pm Wed-Fri and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

Not all of our collections are kept on-site, so to guarantee access to the material you need please order one week in advance using the order form link below. If you are travelling a long distance and would like to reserve a library computer it's a good idea to pre-book your visit.
For information on how to book your visit, and other information about visiting us, 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) give an overall view of what is held in our collections, and some detail on particular subject areas. 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

If you’re planning to visit us we recommend that you watch Else Churchill’s insightful video guide here.

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

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.

Catholic Genealogy

A guide to our sources for researching Catholic ancestors

July 2024 Library Update

Here are some updates on our progress in the new library:

We have had some of our microfiche cabinets delivered to the library (!) and we're currently sorting resources in microfiche format out of storage for refilling the drawers. So we're not quite there yet - keep an eye on this page for an announcement of when resources in fiche format are available. As in the previous library, microfiche resources will be CLOSED ACCESS - retrieved by and returned to counter service volunteers and collections staff.

·     We continue our work to fill the remainder of the new library shelves - we're now working through more than 80 boxes of books processed at the Holloway Road office - extracting items in open access categories, assigning shelf numbers to them and adding them to the shelves. We have added another 500 items out of storage to the library over the past month and now have 17,800 items on open access.

·     We have commenced assigning individual shelf numbers to books in the Heraldry section of the library, and we'll continue to other unnumbered sections until all are numbered. This will help locate individual books and help us shelf check more easily. 

·     We have recently updated the browser bookmarks on library computers, the 'Managed Favourites' folder, to fix and remove dead links, to better label some of the links and to add further useful links, some of which were suggested by our counter service volunteers. If you need any help finding a bookmarked resource, or if you have any suggestions for further bookmarks you'd like to see added, let a counter service volunteer or collections staff member know.

·     Our Featured Collection for June-August is a selection of over 200 family histories and biographies added to the catalogue over the past three years. If you've been thinking about going to print with your family history, looking at what other family historians have published can be informative and inspirational. If you have any family history or biographical works you have been holding off on donating to the library you can drop them at the SoG reception desk during our opening hours or post them to The Library, Society of Genealogists, 40 Wharf Road, London N1 7GS. We'll get them processed and straight onto the Featured Collection shelves.

·     Welcome to our new Archives Assistant, Alice Imperatori, who will continue the digital cataloguing of the archives, steer the passage of new archival material to our collections, and liaise with our busy archives processing volunteers. 

We're pleased with the ongoing support and usage of the library. Our counter-service volunteers have been delighted to be busy helping researchers, especially those visiting the new library for the first time, to access information in digital and physical formats. We've had several international visitors recently from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

If you're a member there is no need to book your visit, you can pop in any time and use an unreserved computer and access books on the library shelves. If you are travelling a long distance and want to ensure a library computer will be available, it's a good idea to book. Whether or not you book your visit, if you require collection items then do submit your collections order form one week in advance of your visit. Links for booking and ordering collection items can be found at the top of this page, along with links to our library catalogue and archives finding aids.

If you book your visit, you'll receive a feedback survey form link. If you haven't booked your visit you can still provide feedback, comments and suggestions anytime to the email address below.

Christine Worthington
Research Collections 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).

Become a member

Join us

As a member, you can make the most of our resources, access our experts, and find a welcoming community of people interested in family history and genealogy.

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

Keep up to date with news and events

Subscribe to The Genealogy Gazette

Sign up today to receive regular updates including The Genealogy Gazette, a monthly newsletter packed with family history news from around the community, hints, tips, and more. Receive information on upcoming events, talks and lectures, and special offers!

Thankyou! Please look out for an email from to validate your email address, after which you'll be added to our Newsletter subscription.