Library Resources

The Society has an excellent library which has now been relocated (from January 2017) to its Research Centre at Abinger. The Library 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 which has now been moved to secure archival storage at the Surrey History Centre.

Click on the following for more information:

Margary Room at Abinger


Illustrative Material

Other Research Material

Services for Members


Family History enquiries

Margary Room at Abinger

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. In most cases back numbers are currently in storage and cannot be consulted at present. 

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

The library catalogue is held on-line and should be consulted before visiting. 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. 

In most cases these items are held as part of our archives at the Surrey History Centre.

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 and to make arrangements to consult these items at the Surrey History Centre.

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


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.