Access to the Library

The library is open to members of the public who would like to use the library collections, free of charge. First-time visitors will need to fill in an application form for a reader’s pass, and provide identification. See Readers’ Application Form and Readers’ information for more details.

The library opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 12.30 pm and 1.30pm to 4.45pm. All visits to the library are by appointment only.

The library collection of books on women writers can be searched online using Heritage.

The Knight collection, comprising of books that have belonged to the Knight family over centuries, has only been partially catalogued. However we do have a database listing all books in our collection which is accessible here.

Anyone wishing to use the library should contact our Librarian, Dr Darren Bevin on 01420 595902 or email


Visiting Fellowships

It is possible to apply for 1-3 month visiting fellowships at Chawton House Library: further details can be found on our Research pages.


Reading Group

The Library runs a reading group for the discussion of the work of women writers, 1600 to 1830, The group meets each month, September to May, usually on the third Monday of the month at 2pm.

Afternoon tea is available during the Reading Group meetings for £3 per person.

Reading Group Schedule 16-17

Reading Group Schedule 15-16

Reading Group Schedule 14-15

Reading Group Schedule 13-14

Reading Group Schedule 12-13

Reading Group Schedule 11-12

Reading Group Schedule 10-11

Reading Group Schedule 09-10

Reading Group Schedule 08-9


There are also details at:


All books purchased through our online store with Amazon raise funds for the library.