Postgraduate Open Day

Join Us On 19 October 2018

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The Society of Antiquaries of London has the largest antiquarian library in the country, with a collection spanning items from the 10th century to present day, reflecting 300 years of research and scholarship into the history and material remains of Great Britain and other countries.

Spend the day learning about our collections and resources that can help you with your research. Hear from Fellows of the Society who are experts in their fields. Network with other postgraduate students and early-career researchers. Spend time in the Library, exploring our collections.

Aimed at early-career researchers and students currently undertaking or about to begin postgraduate studies.

A complimentary lunch will be provided!


Although this event is free, space is limited and reservations are required. A programme (with schedule) will be distributed to registered guests closer to the event.

Questions? Send an email to

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What To Expect

A detailed programme will be posted and provided to registered guests closer to the date. The Library will be open all day and after the end of official programming until 18.00.

Last year's programme followed the below format (although 2018 may be slightly different):

9.30 – 10.00: Registration (with coffee and tea)

10.00 - 10.45: Morning Presentations, Session 1 (Meeting Room)

10.45 - 11.00: Comfort Break

11.00 - 12.30: Morning Presentations, Session 2 (Meeting Room)

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch (The library will be open during the lunch break)

13.30 - 16.00: Break-out Sessions  (Various Rooms)

16.00 - 16.30: Closing Announcements (Meeting Room)

16.00 – 18.00:  Library Open for Research

Our PG Open Day has inspired a few students to write about their visits and related research. Read more from Evonne on Wednesday and Cypriot Art Leeds.

More About the Library Collection

The Society’s Library has an outstanding collection, particularly of historic material on British archaeology, local and architectural history. Beyond this, the subject coverage ranges from European archaeology to the historic environment, the decorative arts (especially medieval), heraldry and numismatics. The Library’s holdings reflect nearly 300 years of research into the history and material remains of Great Britain and other countries.

The Library collection includes:

  • Printed books (ca. 130,000 volumes, representing ca. 60,000 titles). Remarkable among the historic collection of printed books are 52 incunables and particularly rich holdings of 18th-19th century county histories as well as other publications relating to British and foreign archaeology and architectural history. The modern printed collection, in as far as it relates to archaeology, covers not only the UK and Ireland, but also contains a wealth of publications on European archaeology (covering northern, eastern as well as southern Europe), in many instances not represented in any other UK library.
  • Periodicals (ca. 2,800 titles of which 860 are current), including:
    • a unique collection of British county journals (almost always the complete run, going back to the very first issue)
    • most British and Irish archaeological journals
    • an outstanding collection of European archaeological journals, in some cases going back to the early 19th century and before
    • a small collection of titles covering the history of art, architecture and decorative arts, as well as heraldry and numerous other subjects relating to the Society’s research interests.
  • Broadsides (1,000) and Proclamations (2,000) dating from the late medieval/early modern period to the 19th century.
  • The Lowther Collection of Civil War tracts (ca. 2,000 items).
  • Numerous historic collections of manuscript material relating mostly to the history and archaeology of Great Britain (often representing the lifetime’s work notes and drawings of 18th- and 19th-century scholars).
  • Topographical drawings (ca. 30,000)
  • Just over 1,020 historical manuscripts, ranging in date from the 10th to the 20th century, relating largely to antiquities, local history and heraldry, including also a number of outstanding illuminated manuscripts, three copies of Magna Carta, an inventory of Henry VIII, a royal wardrobe inventory of 1627 and much more.

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