The Society’s Library comprises more than 1000 books of specialist historical interest, dating from the sixteenth century to the 2020s. With two reading rooms, the Library is located within the main library of University College London, next to the RHS Office and Council Chamber.
RHS Fellows and Members are welcome to visit the Society’s Library, and also the main UCL collection. Access and use of UCL’s wider History collections is one benefit of joining the Fellowship.
About the Library collection
The RHS Library holds more than 1000 secondary works of historical scholarship on open shelves. The collection comprises antiquarian titles (often gifted by prominent former members of the Society, such as the library of George W. Prothero), the publications of UK record and local history societies, and reference works.
Also available are monographs published by the RHS (including the ‘Studies in History’ and ‘New Historical Perspectives’ series); and complete sets of the Society’s journal, Transactions (1872-2021) and the Camden Series of primary sources (1838-2021).
Listings of these items is available here (open as pdfs):
- Antiquarian (1500-1599)
- Antiquarian (1600-1699)
- Antiquarian (1700-1799)
- Antiquarian (1800-1899)
- Modern (1900-1999)
- Modern (2000-)
- George W. Prothero Library Collection (for details of Prothero’s papers held in the RHS Archive, see here)
- Dictionaries / Encyclopaedias / Reference Works
- Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, and other publications
- For details of the complete series of the Society’s journal, see the Transactions page of the RHS website.
- For details of the complete series of the Society’s Camden Series, see the Camden page of the RHS website.
Information services and contacts
The Library also maintains a listing of UK and Irish historical and record societies providing contacts for research; a number of publications for these societies are available in the RHS collection and the UCL History Library.