The Library of the Royal Bath and West of England Society comprises books, journals and pamphlets, assembled by the Society since its foundation in 1777. Topics covered include crop cultivation, machinery and equipment, animal husbandry, labourers and the organisation of the agricultural workforce, dairy production, livestock diseases and pests and botanical studies of plant strains.
Eighteenth and nineteenth century works are most strongly represented, but the library also contains books dating back to the seventeenth century including works by major authors such as Jethro Tull, John Evelyn and Richard Jefferies. Rare early publications include 'The English Husbandman' by Gervase Markham published in 1613 and 'An Account of the Principal English Grasses ...' by William Sole, a unique, finely illustrated study published c 1800.
The library also contains a comprehensive series of the Society's own publications which document the examination and discussion of a wide range of agriculture-related issues over a period of nearly 150 years.
The following articles provide information on the library's background and history:
- 'A Short History of the Royal Bath & West ...', K. Hudson (1982).
- 'The Library and Archives of the Royal Bath & West', P. Bryant (2005).
- 'The Mohawk Chief, the Lost Portrait and the Bath and West', by K. Jordan (2006).
The library was deposited with the University of Bath in the 1970s. The Society's archive, containing minute books, accounts, correspondence, photographs, press cuttings and other unpublished material, is held at Bath Record Office.
A list of the journals included in the library is available in PDF format.