Finding copies of 'rare' books

Bill Hibbert bill at h...
Wed Sep 18 15:31:37 BST 2002

Robert Lunn:

> I have tried to get my hands on books at libraries
> but find a lot have disappeared and the price they
> want from secondhand book shops is beyond my reach.

Where do you live? The British Library in London is of course 
excellent. You can get a 6-month reader's ticket if you can persuade 
them your research is legitimate (it worked for me a couple of years 
ago, I later managed to get a five year ticket.) You can order books 
over the net for delivery to a desk in a couple of days time.

In Manchester, I have found the Central Library absolutely excellent 
for the more historical stuff (for instance, they have copies of The 
Pall Mall Magazine from which I photocopied Simpson's papers). They 
are not so good on recent books as I think budget cuts have limited 
their purchasing power.

Elsewhere in the country it is worth approaching university 
libraries, for instance I know that some of the Oxford libraries 
admit non-members of the university.

Also, some bellringing organisations have quite good libraries, some 
catalogues are published on the net to make things easier to find.

I think it's always possible to find a copy of a book you need 
somehow, it just sometimes takes a bit of time. At a pinch, I'm sure 
members of this list will copy stuff for you (I have a copy of 
Elphick's Sussex book) provided it doesn't become too much of a habit!

Good hunting!

Bill H

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