Library Resources - page being updated and not accurate

The Society has an excellent library at its headquarters at Castle Arch, Guildford which not only contains a good collection of books and journals on archaeology and local history but is the only specialist lending library on these subjects in the county. Society members may borrow books, pamphlets and periodicals. There is also a large collection of research material which includes paintings, prints, maps, photographs, postcards, notebooks, scrapbooks and press cuttings available for study on the premises.

Click on the following:

Margary Room


Illustrative Material

Other Research Material

Using the Library

Services for Members


Family History enquiries


Margary Room

The Margary Room houses the main library which includes a large selection of books and pamphlets relating to archaeology, history and related subjects with particular emphasis on the historic County of Surrey. There is a major section devoted to local histories of Surrey, including all the major county histories and those of individual towns and villages.

Current issues of county and national journals, local societies’ newsletters and bulletins are displayed here while back numbers may be requested from our store and borrowed.

Excavation reports relate mainly to the southern counties, except for major sites.

The transfer of the library catalogue onto the computer is nearing completion and an on-line version is now available. To access the catalogue please click here.



The Society’s map collection includes:

A collection of 42 Surrey county maps from Saxton (1575) to Greenwood (1822), including many different states (editions) of Speed’s map of Surrey.

Photocopies of the original surveyors’ drawings made between 1795 and 1813 for the Ordnance Survey.

A set of OS 1st edition 1:63,360 maps of Southern England

A complete set of OS 1st edition 1:10,560 maps of Surrey plus a range of later editions

A partial set of OS 1st edition 1:2,500 maps of Surrey plus a range of later editions

Estate maps, parish maps, specialized maps and plans.

Our maps are listed on our catalogue and can be searched for by place name.


Illustrative Material

The Society holds a large collection of prints, drawings, paintings, photographs and postcards.

The collection includes watercolours by John and Edward Hassell, oil paintings by Ernest Christie and some of the original drawings of Ralph Nevill.

There is a rubbing of every brass in the county and a collection of transparencies, lantern slides and negatives.



Other Research Material

The Society holds a large collection of manuscript material donated over the years, which includes notes and material collected by local historians, genealogists and archaeologists; transcripts, press and magazine cuttings, obituaries, election notices and scrapbooks. The collection includes local directories from 1839.

Please contact the Assistant Librarian at for more details or to make an appointment to refer to this material.

The bulk of the research material is now listed on the catalogue.


Using the Library

The Margary Room is open to Members Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, on all the days that the Museum is open to the public. All members are entitled to borrow up to 6 items for 2 months at a time. Non-members are welcome to use our resources by appointment with the Assistant Librarian whose normal working hours are:

Monday: 9.45 - 1.00pm  1.30pm - 4.45pm

Tuesday: 9.45am - 1.45pm (all but the Tuesday preceding 1st Saturday in each month)

Wednesday: 9.45 - 1.00pm  1.30pm - 4.45pm

1st Saturday in the month 9.30am - 1.30pm

For more information please contact the Assistant Librarian at


Services for Members

Loans and photocopies can be obtained for members through the British Library. Please contact the Assistant Librarian at for details and the current cost of this service.

Members can be circulated with current contents lists photocopied from journals of their choice from the library stock. Some newsletters may also be distributed to members electronically. Please contact the Assistant Librarian for more information.

Items for borrowing can be posted to members who live outside a 25-mile radius of Guildford if visiting Castle Arch is difficult for them. Members are responsible for returning items to the library.

Photocopies of library material may be provided where appropriate. Please contact the Assistant Librarian at for current charges.



Library material may be made available for displays and exhibitions throughout the county at suitable venues. Please contact the Assistant Librarian at for more information.


Research and Family History enquiries

Because of limited resources the staff are unable to carry out detailed research for enquirers though a short preliminary search may be possible. Enquirers are invited to visit the library by appointment or use independent researchers. The names of independent researchers can be given on request.

Please contact the Assistant Librarian at for more information.

The library is not a major source of genealogical information and because of limited resources the staff may be unable to answer email family history enquiries from non-members. Useful local sources of information are the Surrey History Centre, West Surrey Family History Society and East Surrey Family History Society.