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.

My major preoccupation in the past year has been to rationalise the Guild’s holdings of its annual reports. At some point in the distant past the annual reports from 1948 to 1959, bound into one volume, vanished from the library’s shelves and following searches amongst loose reports and appeals to the membership I have been able to assemble a replacement volume. This, together with nine succeeding volumes to 2015, have been expertly bound or rebound by Tim Wiltshire at College Street, Winchester. Mindful of the needs of researchers at the County Record Office and the British Library, I have transferred runs of the Guild Annual Report and Handbook to the County Record Office and to the British Library, so that the former has a complete file from 1957 to date, and the latter, from 1960 to date. I hope to be able to continue this work by the addition to their holdings of some of the pre-war and immediate post-war editions of the Report. I regret that otherwise, my activities as Librarian have been limited to basic housekeeping routines, and I hope to accomplish more in 2020, including the purchase of some new items for which I had budgeted in 2019, and which explains the balance carried forward of nearly £100.

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 31/12/19
Balance b/f138.38Sub. to The Ringing World81.00
Income (from Central Fund)500.00Sub. to the Friends of the Central Council Library10.00
Binding and rebinding Annual Reports450.00
Balance c/f97.38


Bruce Purvis