The SANHS Library

Kingweston House from the SANHS collection of drawings

The Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society's Library

The library contains some 30,000 books, as many as 1,000 of them published before 1800, covering every aspect of Somerset's past and natural history. Many take the form of individual collections donated to the society and members still give books for the library and others are purchased to keep the library up to date. There are long runs, some from the 18th century, of all the established journals on British archaeology and many other local society journals and proceedings. There are also thousands of topographical drawings, prints and photographs of Somerset places, buildings and people.

Books on natural history, geology, history, archaeology and the humanities generally are currently kept in the society's library alongside the Somerset Studies Library at the Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Taunton, TA2 6SF. There is a spacious reading room.

The catalogue for the Tite Collection of books on Somerset takes the form of a bound typescript volume, and the rest of the library is covered by card catalogues. However many books are now appearing on the Somerset libraries on-line catalogue and a new electronic catalogue is being compiled by a volunteer librarian. Archaeological journals are shelved in the research room and there is an index in the library of journal articles on Somerset subjects.

The collection of the texts and calendars, which have been published by the Public Record Office and its predecessors, are mostly shelved on open access in the reading rooms others can be brought out on request.

Only members are permitted to borrow from its library, an incentive to join!

Photocopies are obtainable, and colour photocopies, microfilm enlargements, and photographs (to order).

Location: Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel way, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6SF.
Contact: SANHS phone 01823 347478/347479
Somerset Heritage Centre phone 01823 278805

Opening hours: Reading room:  Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 5pm.
The second Saturday of the month 9am to 1.30pm.