Library and Archive
The Library holds over 11,000 books and periodicals specialising in American history, from the early settlers to the twentieth century; American decorative and fine arts and architecture, including textiles, furniture, painting, prints, silver, glass, and sculpture; North American Indians, from prehistoric times to the present day; religions, such as the Shakers, Amish, and Puritans; and other American art media, such as photography, film, and music.
The Archive holds institutional information about the American Museum, its foundation, early employees, the John Judkyn Memorial, and Freshford Manor. It also holds some personal papers and photographs of the founders Dallas Pratt and John Judkyn and the Museum’s first restorer and craftsman, Nick Bell-Knight.
The Library and Archive is open to anyone interested in studying American history and culture free-of-charge, but only by prior appointment.
Most weekdays, but by appointment only. Please contact the Librarian using our contact form, or 01225 823016.
The Library and Archive is located on the lower ground floor of the Exhibition Gallery and, unfortunately, is not accessible by a lift. For researchers unable to manage stairs, the Librarian will be happy to bring books and periodicals up to a more accessible area of the Museum. Please mention when coordinating an appointment so the necessary arrangements can be made.
We will attempt to answer all enquiries received, but we can only accept enquiries by post or email. Please include your postal address in all correspondence. Enquiries about the collection should be directed to the Chief Curator.
This is not a lending library, but if you are a Friend of the American Museum and live in the Bath area, you may borrow up to 4 books for a month at a time. Magazines and periodicals and some fragile or rare books are excluded.
The Library subscribes to a number of magazines and journals, including:
- The Art Newspaper
- The Museums Journal
- The Magazine Antiques
- Wintherthur Portfolio
- The Quilter
The Library and Archive has a strict collection’s policy, but if you think you have some items, books, or journals that you believe would be of interest, please write or email the Librarian with the details. We are unable to accept unsolicited items left with non-Library colleagues.
The History of Claverton Manor
July 17, 2019
Celebrating 50 years since the mission of Apollo 11
[19th century – taken from Emerin Semple scrapbook] We’re celebrating the first lunar landing this year at the American Museum […]