Library – research the archaeology and history of Sussex

Our specialist library contains more than 27,000 publications – and provides access to hundreds more online – dedicated to the archaeology and history of Sussex.

The library, which was founded in 1846, is integral to our vision and remit as a learned society. It is an unrivalled resource for academics, researchers and local historians. It also welcomes anyone interested in learning more about the history of our region.

Members of the Society can access the library during our opening hours. Non-members are welcome by appointment.

The library is entirely run by volunteers. These friendly faces have formidable expertise on Sussex’s past, as well as our library catalogue. They’re on hand to support your research endeavours.

Click to browse our collections

Our resources

We house over 27,000 publications including:

  • An archive of Sussex Past and Present – The Society’s membership magazine, totalling over 150 issues
  • The Sharpe Collection – Scans of the Sharpe Collection of watercolours and drawings (1797-1809, mainly by Henry Petrie)
  • Saunders Churches – Journals and scrapbooks containing 116 paintings and descriptions of churches visited

Within the library, you can also access some of the journals to which we subscribe.

Where to find us 

We are situated on the second floor of the Barbican House Museum next to Lewes Castle. Please sign in at the museum reception desk before accessing the library.

Access is via stairs but we can arrange ground floor facilities with advance notice. Contact us on 01273 405738 or email us at library@sussexpast.co.uk

Opening times

Monday to Friday from 10.30am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

All visits to use the Library for research purposes will need to be booked in advance.

Please phone 01273 405738 or email us at library@sussexpast.co.uk

Payments and donations

The Library depends on generous donations from Members and visitors.

To make a donation towards Library running costs – or to pay for photocopying or postage – please go to our donations page.

Click here to make a donation