St Bride Library reopening

The St Bride Library reopens on Wednesday and will be open on the first Wednesday of each month 10am - 8pm.

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Casual visitors may use all of the material on the open shelves (2000+ titles) in the Reading Room free of charge. Books and artefacts held in Closed Access (the remote book stacks in another part of the building) incur a retrieval charge of £1 per item.

Hourly rates are available to researchers who need to see Special Collections which are not normally accessible to visitors on walk-in opening days.

Although no appointment is needed for “first Wednesday” visits, we do ask potential researchers to let us know in advance that they are coming as our Reading Room can only accommodate 10 people and it is possible we might be oversubscribed occasionally. The library email address is [email protected]. Please note that the library email is not monitored every day and responses may take up to a week to process as there are no permanent staff.

Are there any provisions for researchers at a distance to obtain information or copies from the collections? I saw a reference the other day to an early 20th century publication which I would expect to be part of the Library’s collection, but I do not know where else it might be found and I know of no other way to obtain such references. This is one of the sad losses resulting from the limiting of access to such a valuable collection.


There are only 2 regular volunteers and we only work one or two days a week (unpaid). The weekly email workload alone takes one person a half day to deal with. We can’t respond quickly to email enquiries - it takes up to a week to get back to correspondents, and for an enquiry which involves research it can be even longer.

There is a price list for scanning (available from [email protected]) which includes a research fee. Some enquiries take relatively little effort to deal with and others are more complex. We can’t spend more than 15 minutes on any individual query because of the heavy workload.

The situation is expected to improve in the coming months. A new volunteer starts tomorrow and we are interviewing another on 19 April.

Send me an email with details of the article you require (mention Briar Press) and I’ll see what I can do tomorrow.