The Library is a vibrant resource centre which has been used for research by University students from Birmingham, Reading, West of England and Plymouth (among others). The principal collection is based on the House of Thomas Bayly and 17th century town life, and the history of Marlborough and the immediate neighbourhood. Of particular interest and value to students are the subsidiary collections of highly specialised books on the silk trade, oak furniture, wall paintings and needlework through the ages.

Many rare and valuable books have been donated to the library, and donations of suitable items will always be welcomed. To supplement the book stock – currently around 3,000 items - the Library subscribes to several specialist journals from societies such as the Pewter Society, the Furniture History Society, and the Textile Society. There is also a rapidly growing collection of pamphlets and press cuttings culled from a variety of sources.

The Library is available for public use by arrangement, and visitors are always welcome (but study space is limited). The stock is comprehensively catalogued and classified according to the familiar Dewey decimal system, and a print out of the computerised catalogue is made annually. A selection of recent additions is included in each issue of the Merchant’s House Journal.


 A list of subjects covered by the books in The Merchant's House library can be found here.

Please contact the Library via email