Library loans

Certain items in the Library may be borrowed by Members under the following conditions:

  • Members resident in the British Isles may borrow up to four items at one time (e.g.: four books or films, or four sets of fiche, each set containing a maximum of approximately 20 fiche).
  • No borrowed item may be taken or sent overseas.
  • Borrowed items may be retained for no more than two weeks, or one week for registers. Loans may be renewed twice, providing they have not been requested by another member. Overdue items will incur a fine.
  • Items to be borrowed in person must be taken to the library enquiry desk, where the Member must sign a loan form.
  • Postal loans must be requested by letter or email; they cannot be ordered by telephone. The member should give full details of the item(s) required, their membership number and full postal address. There is no charge for the loan service, as such, but borrowers are required to reimburse the Society's costs in sending it to him/her.
  • Items returned by post must be well packed and sent by insured post.
  • Members are responsible for any damage to items while on loan or in transit and for consequential costs of repair, rebinding or replacement.

The Head of Library Service's decision on whether any item may be borrowed is final. Items which may NOT be borrowed, unless the Society holds a duplicate, include:-

  • Manuscripts and typescripts
  • Digital media such as CD-ROMs
  • Printed items over 60 years old or in a fragile condition
  • Limited editions and material published abroad
  • Lists and indexes containing thousands of names e.g. directories and poll books
  • Compilation volumes e.g. Bound tracts
  • Periodicals, serial publications, magazines e.g. Harleian and British Record Society publications
  • Essential reference works e.g. Genealogical Research Directory, the Phillimore atlas
  • Items on loan to the Society
  • Items listed in the Library accessions in the current Genealogists' Magazine

Those who break the rules governing library loans may lose their right to borrow from the Library. Members who retain any loan for three months beyond its return date will lose their right to borrow material and risk legal action to recover the item(s).

Requests to borrow items should be made to the Deputy Librarian

Search & Copy


We offer a search & copy service for members who are unable to visit the library.

Search & copy service details