The George Williams Memorial Library is located in the ringing chamber of Winchester Cathedral and is available for readers and borrowers by appointment. The system for loans provides a standard loan period of eight weeks with a liberal renewal policy for serious research and special problems. The only exceptions are the archive material and the Guild’s annual and triennial reports for which, because of their unique importance, loans are solely at the discretion of the librarian. A catalogue of the printed books and of the complete archive is maintained on the Guild website. Part of our collection of archive material, held at the Hampshire Record Office in Sussex Street, Winchester, is available for consultation only. The collection there has the call-number 20M94.

In the last year I have acquired The towers and bells of Devon, by John Scott and others (2007, 2 vols), the first such survey since those of Ellacombe and Pearson in the nineteenth century, and unlikely to be superseded. I have also added to the library the CD version of the Guild’s Centenary Bells recording, to stand alongside the vinyl LP. As mandated by the Guild Executive some considerable time ago, I have commissioned a plaque to record the history of the Book Case housing the Library, and have affixed it to the inside of one of the middle pair of doors of the extension build by Hugh Routh in 2010. Finally, I have assembled a run of the Guild’s annual reports for binding by Tim Wiltshire, of College Street, Winchester. I anticipate that the work will be completed by the time this report is published. I have taken the opportunity to deposit supplementary collections dating back to the late 1950s and early 1960s in the Hampshire Record Office and the British Library. The main - indeed sole - concern in the field of research this year has been World War One, in connection with the Guild’s Record of Ringing in Remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War. I have played a very minor role in assisting the steering committee for this enormous project; nevertheless the resulting involvement has been very time-consuming. I regret that otherwise, my activities as Librarian have been limited to basic housekeeping routines, and I hope to accomplish more in 2019.

The Guild’s online archive has the minutes of the Guild Annual meetings and Executive Committee meetings from 1980 to 2000, and from 2013 to 2014 (More recent minutes are already available from the Guild’s Document Repository) and a collection of historical articles from The Ringing World about Guild people, places and events. These are all maintained by Tony Smith, to whom I am duly grateful.

I am always pleased to assist Guild members and others with an interest in the Guild with their researches. I should like to thank my colleagues within the Guild and the Winchester Cathedral band for their continuing support.

Librarian and Archivist’s Accounts as at 31/12/18
Balance b/f195.38Sub. to The Ringing World79.00
Income (from Central Fund)150.00Sub. to the Friends of the Central Council Library10.00
Towers and Bells of Devon63.00
Bookcase Plaque - History of the Library45.00
Balance c/f138.38


Bruce Purvis