The Museum of Timekeeping’s archive and library is amongst the top horological libraries in the world.
The library occupies a prominent position in Upton Hall, the home of the Museum of Timekeeping and headquarters of the British Horological Institute. It consists of approximately 5, 000-6, 000 archive materials and 4, 000–5, 000 books.
Its origins begin with the creation of the British Horological Institute (BHI) in 1858. The BHI immediately began collecting archives, books and other materials to support the education of clock and watchmakers. As early as the first edition of the Horological Journal in September 1858, a list of desired books accompanied a notice reading ‘The attention of intending Donors and Friends of the Institute is respectfully directed to the following English Work, &c, of which it is desirable the Institute should be in possession’.
The archive and library are still growing as it accepts bequests and papers, and publishers deposit new horological books with us.
Learn and Discover More
The major archive collections held by the Museum of Timekeeping include the Louis Baume archive, the Courteney Ilbert archive, Thomas Miles archive, Derek Roberts archive, Philip Woodward and Douglas Bateman archive and the Benjamin Vulliamy archive. We do also hold a number of smaller archive collections such as the H. Frodsham collection, the Ingersol collection, H. E. Hones & Hope-Jones collection (among others), as well as materials relating to the history of Upton Hall and the British Horological Institute (BHI).
Digitisation & Document Supply
A major project for the archive and library is the cataloguing and digitisation (scanning) of these collections to ensure their conservation and preservation for future generations. This large project will take several years to complete but a lot of progress has been made over the last 28 months. This project means we are able to provide digital copies of scanned materials.
For document supply charges, please click here.
For document supply form, please click here.
Research Enquires & Visiting
The archive and library are a resource everyone can use and are available to consult via appointment Monday-Thursday year round, and the library is open every Friday (between March-October) as part of our general opening. If you have a question about a particular clock, watch, timepeice anything to do with horological history, then please do get in touch.
For research enquiry form, please click here
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