Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Library (BGAS)

Scope and Content

The Library is physically divided into two halves, serial and general publications, and county or country based material. There is material about most counties in England as well as on Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Subjects covered include history, archaeology, architecture, local studies, records, law, education, religion, cults and mythology, arts and crafts, coinage, industry and transport, genealogy and heraldry. The Society mainly concentrates on collecting material relating to Gloucestershire and its adjoining Counties (Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Monmouthshire).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (BGAS) was founded in 1876 and has over 800 members. The Society exists to encourage and promote the historical and archaeological study of the Bristol and Gloucestershire area, and to produce regular academic publications. These include the Society's Transactions, published annually since 1876, and the Gloucestershire Record Series. The Society also organises an extensive programme of lectures, events and field meetings each year.

Those wishing to find out more about the Society and its activities should refer to the Society's own website

Access Information

The Library is open to BGAS Library members, who can borrow material with a valid BGAS Library card. The library is also available to staff and students at the University of Gloucestershire and the general public for reference only purposes. W recommend making an appointment with archive staff in the first instance. For more information about the BGAS Library, University Archives and Special Collections and contact details see our website or to make an appointment email


Description created by Caroline McIntosh, Archive Assistant with assistance from Officers of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society.

Other Finding Aids

BGAS Library material is available to search on the University's Library Catalogue. The catalogue can be searched via

Custodial History

The Library was founded within a few years of the launch of the Society. It has been consistently increased by purchase, gift and bequest, notably from the library of the Reverend David Royce at his bequest in 1902, from which many of the antiquarian volumes were acquired. The Library has had several homes since its creation, and in 1998 moved from Gloucester Library to the Archive Room at the University of Gloucestershire. The University Archives and Special Collections act as custodians of the Library.

Location of Originals

The Society's Archive Collection is housed at Gloucestershire Archives and is available for consultation by the public. Holdings include:

  • - the Society's own administrative records from its foundation in 1876 to 2004, including rules, committee minutes, accounts and financial records, correspondence, circulars, field meetings, lectures and other administrative papers (mainly archive reference D7996)
  • - records of the Committee for Archaeology in Gloucestershire
  • - a major donation by the Reverend David Royce of antiquarian papers which include court rolls and manor court books from the sixteenth century onwards, deeds, various family records including Royce's own, and notes and transcriptions on various Cotswold parishes (archive reference D1375)
  • - other antiquarian collections from as early as the twelfth century, including notes, transcriptions, manuscripts, family history, parish history and plans on various Gloucestershire locations

For details of the above material, search the Gloucestershire Archives online catalogue For general information about Gloucestershire Archives, visit their website

Additional Information

Council and Committee minutes, accounts, correspondence and other administrative papers from 1876-1997 are deposited at the Gloucestershire Record Office under the Document Reference of D2634. For details of restrictions and contact details see their website