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 buying last year concentrated on history and teaching. Under the former category fall the latest two editions of the Order and Disorder collections of press transcripts, covering the period 1800-1839, the Ringing World DVD covering 1971-2000 and the searchable edition of the complete Bell News archive, 1881-1915, and the great survey of the Towers & Bells of Devon (2007, 2 vols), and a couple of local pamphlets. I have also acquired, at no cost, a copy of Alain Corbin’s Village Bells: Sound and Meaning in the Nineteenth-Century French Countryside (1999, paperback). In the latter category of purchases falls a collection of multi-media resources which I acquired at the ART Conference at Loughborough, comprising the ART’s CD Teaching Toolboxes, DVD A guide to Bell Handling and teaching monographs Discover Bellringing and Teaching with Simulators and the Whiting Society’s book and DVD From Rounds to Ropesight.
The lifetime licence to the online cataloguing service LibraryThing is now active, and I am confident that at least the holdings recorded on the 2007 Microsoft Excel catalogue will have been transferred to the new system by the time this report is in its readers’ hands.
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.