SAHAAS Library Collections

The Society’s collections are already extensive and they continue to grow through acquisition and deposit. The information on this page describes our various collections and how researchers can best take advantage of what we have.

Please note that in due course you will be able to search nearly all of the many thousands of items we have via the online catalogue.

Books and pamphlets

There are over 1,500 books and pamphlets in our current catalogue although we expect this to double in size over the next year or so. Publications range from books by early antiquarians such as Henry Chauncy and Revd Thomas Newcombe to many rare pamphlets.

You can search our current catalogue of books and pamphlets here.


Subscriptions are taken for several journals including The Local Historian and Current Archaeology. We also have a full set of our own journal Hertfordshire Archaeology & History. Digital copies of nearly all of the Society’s publications published between 1848 and 1961, including the Transactions, are available elsewhere on this website.

Our key finding aid for journal articles is the SAHAAS Journals Database. This is maintained by the Library team and currently lists over 6,700 articles of local and regional interest, copies of most of which are available on our shelves.


Our aim is to develop the Society’s map collection so that we have copies of the key maps of St Albans and neighbouring districts. Existing cover includes not only the expected maps such as various Ordnance Survey editions but also town, tithe, parish, manorial and estate maps some of which date back to the early 1600s.

For further information about the collection click here.


We have over 15,000 images in our collections. These are mostly of St Albans and include what is supposedly the earliest photograph taken in the town. Work is underway to produce a full listing of these images with the intention in due course to add them to the online catalogue.

Details of our image collection are here.

Collected papers

The Library has a collection of papers on a wide range of topics including people, buildings (such as public houses, churches and schools) and events. These are stored in folders and filed alphabetically by subject. The amount of information on each subject varies a good deal. There might be just one item in a folder, or several, and the quality is variable – from the ephemeral, such as a news clipping, or quite substantial, such as a scholarly journal article.

A full listing of available files is here.

Special Architectural Collections

In 2017 the Library received the research papers of the late John Smith and Gerard McSweeney. Together they form a valuable resource for the study of the development of timber-framed buildings in St Albans and beyond.

For full details see here.

We also have a set of extensive papers and digital copies of plans and drawings relating to the work of local architect, F.W. Kinneir Tarte. A handlist describing this collection is available here.

Property Records

The Society holds collections of records (deeds, sales particulars, etc.) for properties in and around St Albans acquired from various sources. These are significant for the history of landholding in the district. At present they are arranged in two discrete groups: the Deeds Collection and Sales Particulars.

Page link: Books and pamphlets catalogue
Books and pamphlets catalogue
Updated October 2017
Page link: SAHAAS Journals Database, January 2019
SAHAAS Journals Database, January 2019
Our key finding aid for journal articles of local interest
Page link: Images Collection
Images Collection
Photographs etc of St Albans and district housed in the Library
Page link: Collected papers
Collected papers
Containing some of the jewels of the Library's collections (inc clippings, research papers, members' notes etc)
Page link: Special Architectural Collections
Special Architectural Collections
The John Smith / Gerard McSweeney papers and Kinneir Tarte collection
Page link: Property Records
Property Records
These records are significant for the history of landholding in the district