Favourite Genealogical Library – Society of Genealogists #LibrariesWeek

Cover of the Library guide, purchased 1989. From the collection of Julie Goucher

The ultimate genealogical library  in the UK in my view is the Society of Genealogists. I first visited in 1989 and purchased a small booklet about the Society which provided a brief guide; the location and directions, what is available to visitors across three floors. It offered guidance on preparing for a visit and included a small map, identifying where about, on each floor various things are. The booklet proved invaluable.

I did not visit for a number of years, but upon restarting visits, I undertook a library tour. These are given free of charge and really help to familiarise yourself with the material and where it is. I also renewed my membership which meant that I could visit as often as I wished, which was frequently as I lived within 40 minutes of London. Upon moving to the south west of England, I sadly lapsed my membership, work pressures, and a much longer journey made a visit more tricky. A changing work schedule meant that I could rejoin and was very pleased I did, even though I have moved to the other end of the country and have a longer journey to London, but a quicker one.

The Society has a website and whilst it is not as slick as some, it is a good genealogical resource, including holding a continually growing members area with an amazing amount of material for the genealogist and those who are working on specific projects, including One-Name Studies. The Society also has a robust educational platform, of course the current situation means that they have other elements to consider beyond the worries of handouts and a prompt lecturer!

The Society, moved from no online meetings to a very successful online provision for members and non-members. I was delighted that was to be the case. One of the first sessions I heard was looking at the numerous collections available, I then followed that up with Special Collections; both of these were offered and given by the SOG, I have also attended another sessions and several of the lunchtime chat’s. The SOG has indeed embraced their new opportunity. Lock down also meant that the volunteers have been very productive in working through material, indexing from digital images with the aim of getting the material online and into the members room.

Why not visit the Society of Genealogists website and explore .


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 -10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in Books, Genealogy, Libraries. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.