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.

Catholic Genealogy

A guide to our sources for researching Catholic ancestors

April 2024 Library Update

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

·     The process of retrieving our microfiche cabinets continues. When the cabinets are installed, adjacent to the library enquiry desk, we'll retrieve and file 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. 
The rep from our general storage company has visited to survey the site and we will soon have a quote and be able to arrange a delivery date. This will be part of an undertaking to empty our general storage, and the fiche cabinets will be among the priority items for delivery.

·     We continue our work to fill the remainder of the new library shelves.
We have processed our volumes of Birth Briefs to the open library shelves. 
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.
Apart from the recently added material for Ireland (general, local, registers and monumental inscriptions) and Heraldry (general, special, armorial, bookplates and periodicals), we are now adding the following:
Wills (63 items), British India (291 items) and British Record Society (123 items).
Following this will be library collections for Marriage Licences, London City Companies and Harleian Society publications. Further information about this will be in the May update.

·     Our new featured library collection contains nearly 450 resources for Catholic research and will be on the Featured Collection shelves until mid-May. We are working on a new Collection Guide for Catholic research which will be added to the other guides on this page soon.

·     The recent periodicals shelf contains over 60 newsletters, journals and monographs in series acquired over the previous quarter. We are picking up the threads of journal exchanges that had been put in place before the pandemic. These exchanges are being converted to digital exchanges wherever possible and digital journals will be added to the new collections system in due course. In the meantime, we are preparing to make digital journals acquired over the previous quarter available on library computers – more about this in the next update.

·     For those who visit the new SoG building for the first time, we now have a Visitor Tour video which can be accessed at home (via a link in the first section of the library page, above) or at the library (via a desktop shortcut). A set of headphones is available at the library information desk, for those who would like to watch the tour video or any other videos on library computers.
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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