Library

Lending library with a collection of 25,000 books

From 13 April the library will be open for pre-booked visits on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 11.00 and 4.30, on Wednesdays between 2.00 and 4.30 and on alternate Saturdays from 17 April between 11.00 and 3.30.  Please email librarian@hlsi.net for more information and to place requests.

You can browse the online catalogue: click here

To find a book you are looking for in the catalogue enter in the search box EITHER the author’s name OR the book’s title OR a keyword e.g. Finland/Henry VIII/trains (not a combination). For a more specific search try ‘Guided Search’ and enter the desired terms in the boxes for Title, Author and/or Keyword.

Members may borrow up to eight books at a time and can request book renewals or reserve books in person, by telephone or by e-mailing the librarian at librarian@hlsi.net.

The Library has some 25,000 books, constantly updated and covering a wide range, from crime fiction to history. In general stock reflects members’ interests and, indeed, those of earlier librarians: for example, at various times the Bloomsbury Group, gardening, embroidery, Imperial Russia and women travellers of the 19th century have clearly been much in demand. The original collection, as the first catalogue of 1839 shows, matched the lecture subjects chosen by the early members. It was much stronger in the burgeoning fields of science and engineering. Now fiction, biography and history predominate.

Our children’s corner holds many classics, often enjoyed by parents and grandparents, as well as new titles for the very young, for new and for confident readers, and for young adults.

Many of our books are not available in other libraries, and the collection has often proved to be a useful resource for researchers and writers.

The Coleridge Room holds our special collections on London, Highgate, Coleridge and Betjeman. This room may be used by members for study and research: please telephone us if you would like to check when it is available.

The London Collection covers all aspects of the capital: history, waterways, architecture, transport, guilds, its people and more. Highgate itself is more comprehensively represented, and together with our Archives this collection offers an extremely useful resource for anyone interested in exploring the history of our area. Both Coleridge and Betjeman lived locally, Betjeman in childhood and Coleridge in the last years of his life. These collections include works by and about both these poets.