SAHAAS Library Collections

The Society’s Library holdings are already extensive and continue to grow through acquisition and deposit.  This page briefly describes our various collections with links to further details.

Materials are held in these main sections:

Books and pamphlets       Journals          Maps        Images      Special Architectural Collections  Collected papers     Deeds

Our On-line Catalogue covers Books and Pamphlets, and in time will expand to include journal articles, maps, architectural reports and other sources. Numerous interim catalogues, lists and indexes of these and other non-book materials can be found below.

Books and pamphlets

Over 2,200 books and pamphlets are in our current catalogue; expected to increase to c.3,000 in the next year or so as recent donations are added. Publications range from early antiquarian county histories to many scarce pamphlets.    On-Line catalogue

View a selection of Recent Acquisitions here    [not up yet]


Subscriptions are taken for several periodicals including The Local Historian and Current Archaeology. We also have a full set of our own journal Hertfordshire Archaeology & History.      Other holdings are indicated in Details of Journals in the Database.

The SAHAAS Journals Database, our key finding aid for journal articles, currently lists over  6,700 articles of local and regional interest. It is maintained by the Library Team. Copies of most of the articles are available in the Library.

Digital copies of the Transactions [together with nearly all of the Society’s publications appearing between 1848 and 1961],  can be viewed via Publications on this website.   [???]


The Society’s map collection aims to include copies of the key maps of St Albans and neighbouring districts. Besides several Ordnance Survey editions, existing coverage includes town, tithe, parish, manorial and estate maps, some of which date back to the early 1600s.

For further information about the collection see Handlist.


We have over 15,000 images in several discrete collections. These are mostly of St Albans and include what is thought to be the earliest photograph taken in the town.

Further details at Image collections.  Work on a full listing of these images is in progress.

Special Architectural Collections

In 2017 the Library received the research papers of the late John T. Smith, a distinguished Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and Gerard McSweeney. Together these form a valuable resource for the study of the development of non-ecclesiastical timber-framed buildings in St Albans and beyond.

For full details see Handlists

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.

Collected papers - Subject Files

The Library has a collection of papers on a wide range of topics stored in folders and filed    alphabetically by subject. These include people, buildings (e.g. public houses, churches and schools) and events.  The amount and the quality of information on each subject varies. There might be just one item in a folder, or several; ranging from the ephemeral news clipping, pictorial prints, etc. to scholarly articles and the occasional real gem.

Alphabetical list of subject files 

Deeds Collection

The Society has been collecting deeds and legal papers relating to the area for the last forty years. Covering the 17th to the 20th centuries, the collection has recently been fully listed. Further information is available via Handlist.

Lists for other collections such as personal papers relating to local personalities and scholars associated with the Society will be produced in due course.