•  Haslemere Educational Museum
    Culture, Learning & Inspiration Since 1888

    Museum Library & Archives

    Open every Tuesday 10am - 3pm.

    The Museum’s Library and Archives contain a large range of material that can assist in research, whether academic or personal. We are also fortunate in having a dedicated part-time researcher who works in our Library and Archives with the invaluable assistance of our specialist volunteers.

    Members of the public are welcome to visit the Museum Library on a Tuesday between 10am and 3pm. We welcome drop-in visits, but if you would like to email library@haslemeremuseum.co.uk or call us on 01428 642112 in advance to make an appointment, we can conduct any necessary research before your visit.

    The Museum is a valuable source of information on places, properties and people in the Haslemere area. Our collection includes reference works covering local history, natural history, art and general historical works, as well as maps, periodicals, newspapers, historical photographs, postcards and documents.

    General research enquiries to our specialist volunteers are welcomed at library@haslemeremuseum.co.uk

    List of our specialised records and unique sources:

    • Specialised records and unique sources
    • Haslemere Rate Books from 1837 - 1872 & 1913 - 1921
    • Haslemere Parish magazines 1874 - 1919, 1959 - 1979, 1993 - 2004 & 2005 - 2023 as well as Shottermill Parish magazines 1899 - 1902
    • 1735 map of Haslemere High Street and other local maps
    • A selection of record books of sales and rentals of local houses maintained by Cubitt & West estate agents c. 1890 - 1970
    • Historic local newspaper cuttings
    • Extracts from the Haslemere Herald and some mid-C20th bound volumes thereof
    • London Illustrated News 1843 - 1900
    • A selection of C19th and C20th guide books to, and directories of, Haslemere
    • A collection of some 20,000 photographs of Haslemere and its people
    • Electronic database of local images
    • Volumes produced by Surrey Record Society, including Vols XVIII & XXXIII Returns, Vols XLI & XLII Surrey Hearth Tax 1664, Vol XXXIX Surrey Probate Inventories 1558 - 1603, Vols XXXV 1659 - 1661 & XXXVI 1661 - 1663 Surrey Quarter Sessions, Vol XLIV Warriors at Home 1940 – 1942
    Museum Library & Archives

    Museum Library

    Use of the Library and Archives is by donation.

    Photography is only permitted by mobile phone and at a charge of £10 per day . We can also supply photocopies (subject to copyright); our current charges per page are 50p for black and white and £1 for a colour copy. Donations and charges can be paid by cash or card on the day of your visit.

    Outside of the documents held by the Museum there are other online and local sources of available information. Additional Rate Books and other local records are held at the Surrey History Centre in Woking. Records such as parish registers (births, marriages and deaths), as well as some property, education and military records are also accessible through commercial online registries available personally via paid subscription. You may also find such registries available at your local library. There are also other local archives, for example at Fernhurst, Chiddingfold and Liphook, and museums such as Farnham and Godalming which hold local history records.

    Research Services

    We offer a paid service for personal and family history as well as property and local history whereby our team can search our specialised records and unique sources for you, as well as our internal database. Please email research@haslemeremuseum.co.uk with as much detail as possible or call to speak to our researcher on 01428 642112.

    All enquiries are reviewed each Tuesday and we aim to get back to you by the Wednesday following receipt of your enquiry with confirmation of whether we are able to assist. If we can help, we will provide you with an estimate of our fees for the search, report writing and administration costs and confirmation of the relevant sources we are able to review. Our hourly charge rate is £25.

    Once we have received written confirmation (including by email) that you require the search to go ahead, we will proceed.

    The final fee will include a written report and photocopies, shared by email and post. Copies of any photographs which we are able to share electronically will be £10. We aim to provide a written report within one month of the Tuesday following receipt by us of your confirmation to proceed.


    This collection of approximately 2300 items is comprised of local, regional, national and international maps of all types including topographical, geological, transport, land use and relief models.

    We hold copies of Saxton’s 16th century maps of Hampshire, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Middlesex and Norden and Speed’s 17th century maps of Surrey and Sussex. Our oldest original maps date back to the 18th century and include William Morley’s 1722 map of Haslemere outlining owners and occupiers. Henry Cotes produced maps of Haslemere in the late 18th century and our extensive map archive depicts developments in the town right up until the 21st century.

    We hold some Tythe maps, including the Tythe Commissioners map of Haslemere Parish dated 1842 with Apportionment and some 19th century Tythe maps for Lurgashall and Chiddingfold. We also care for some local estate maps such as 18th century maps of Chase Farm and Church Farm and 19th century maps of the Lythe Hill Estate, Haslemere, Surrey.

    We hold many geological maps, with our oldest dating back to the 1840s and 1850s depicting the geology and mineralogy of England and parts of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France. We also hold Geological Maps of Scotland, England and Wales from the 1890s mapped by the eminent geologist Sir Archibald Geikie.

    Our Ordnance Survey maps date back to the 19th century and cover local areas in detail (Surrey, Sussex West, Hampshire, Haslemere, Hindhead, Shottermill, Witley, Grayswood, Lynchmere Areas) and national surveys.

    We also hold maps of British rail and canal networks dating back to the 19th century.


    This large collection of over 22,000 items includes diaries, legal documents, political documents, family trees, letters, greetings cards and property details. The majority of this collection relates to Haslemere and the surrounding towns and villages.

    We hold many old and rare documents. We have local indentures and wills on parchment dating back to the 15th and 16th century. Our 17th & 18th century Reverend Cooper collection holds documents relating to local land and property/conveyance. Furthermore, we have Haslemere Parish Poor Rate Books dating from 1837-1921 and Shottermill Parish Poor Rate Books from 1915-1921. These provide us with a useful record of local residents over those time periods. We also have family trees for important local families such as the Stedmans, Frogleys, Mooreys and Whympers.

    Another helpful local history resource is our collection of property ledgers belonging to Cubitt and West, a local Estate Agency. These Housing Registers date from the 1890s to the 1970s. They cover areas stretching from Guildford to Petersfield and are useful for those investigating the history of loca properties.

    We hold Haslemere Heralds dating from 1948-1970s, in addition to local newspaper cuttings from 1896 up to the present day. The newspapers are supplemented by other documents recording local events and activities, such as the Sillick collection. This includes documents relating to the Haslemere Urban District Council and local entertainment, such as Haslemere Pantomime and Carnival programmes. This collection of local memorabilia has been added to from numerous sources over the years.

    We also hold documents relating to important local luminaries such as Sir Archibald Geikie, Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, Graham Robertson and the Dolmetsch family.

    Photographs and Postcards

    This large collection of approximately 35,000 items contains photographic prints, postcards, negatives, transparencies, lantern slides, cinefilm and videotapes of a wide variety of subjects. The images date back to the 19th century up to the present day and mainly depict local places, events and activities.

    The J.W.Penfold photographic collection is of particular note. The Penfold family have been based in Haslemere since the 17th century. John Wornham Penfold (1828-1909) was a surveyor and architect who rebuilt the parish church of St Bartholomew’s in the 1870s. He also designed the iconic green, hexagonal pillar box that stands in Haslemere High Street. Penfold was a keen photographer and his beautifully composed photographs capture the changing face of Haslemere over the years.

    The Raynor Storr photographic album, dated c.1900, is another excellent example from our photographic collection. It contains mainly portraits of famous local residents, for example Joseph King, Conan Doyle and Lord Tennyson. It also includes many picturesque scenes of Haslemere and Hindhead, such as St Bartholomew’s church and the Devils Punchbowl.

    The photograph collection contains an important record of the history of the museum from its founding in 1888 by Sir Jonathan Hutchinson to the present day. Many photographs of the beautiful and fascinating array of objects in our collection have been taken, in addition to images of the museum building, garden and grounds.