Victorian Studies Centre
Saffron Walden Library
2 King Street
Essex CB10 1ES
Telephone: 01799 523178
The Victorian Studies Centre at Saffron Walden is based on the collection of the former Literary and Scientific Institution. The collection contains more than 25,000 volumes, and is a major resource for the study of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Some of the material may be borrowed for home reading, but the majority of volumes must be used in the library.
Using the Centre - you do not need an appointment to use the Centre. It is open during normal Library hours (see the back of this leaflet). Much of the material is on closed access, and may not be immediately available, so if your enquiry is detailed, or unusual, please phone or write in advance. There is no age restriction on use of the Centre, and we welcome enquiries from young readers.
Subject coverage - the Victorian Studies Centre covers several major topics, including: art, literature, social sciences, biographies, genealogy and family history, the history of printing, botanical illustration, archaeology, the history of exploration, and topography. There are also several hundred 19th century novels. The Centre also contains a wide range of material on the English Civil War. Please ask if you would like more information.
Staff - Members of staff will help you find what you need if you require assistance.
Reference - there is a large collection of reference books, including biographical dictionaries, and specialised bibliographies.
Periodicals - the Victorian Studies Centre subscribes to a wide range of academic journals and periodicals that cover aspects of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. These include: Victorian Studies, Past & Present, History Workshop Journal, Historical Journal, and more specialised publications such as the Bronte Society Transactions, Burlington Magazine, Notes and Queries.
In addition to the many current titles to which the Centre subscribes, there are long runs of Victorian publications such as the Gentleman's Magazine.
Links - there are several links to external Victorian reference sites on the Website links page.
Illustration from Ye Comick Guide and Historie of Saffron Walden 1881
Local Studies - the Centre contains a wide range of material for the study of Victorian Saffron Walden, including old maps, photographs, and directories. There are copies of local newspapers on microfilm, and microfilm copies of Victorian census returns, school records, and records of the local workhouse.
Illustrations - The Victorian Studies Centre is a major resource for the study of the history of botanical illustration. In addition to books about Victorian botanical artists, there are several hundred beautifully illustrated works on botany. Many of the other volumes in the original collection are also illustrated, and some have been heavily grangerized with illustrations. Many of the earliest books produced with photographic illustrations can be found in the Centre.
Gibson Library Society - The Gibson Library Society exists to promote and support the Gibson Library on which the Victorian Studies Centre is based. It organises a regular programme of talks and visits, and contributes to the cost of rebinding many of the older books in the collection.
Essex County Council Libraries - Essex County Council are trustees for the collection. Users of the Victorian Studies Centre have access to the full range of services provided by the County Library, including inter-library lending and use of the County Library catalogue, ELAN.
Victorian Studies Centre Opening times
Monday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday - Closed all day.