Access and Opening Hours

The library is open Tuesday to Friday: 10am – 4.30pm

Please note that Proof of identity is required to access the special collections.

Access is by prior appointment only. To arrange a visit to the Reference Library please write to:

The Librarian
Royal Armouries
Armouries Drive
LS10 1LT
Email: library@armouries.org.uk


Reference Library

The majority of the 40,000 books, pamphlets and journals in the reference library relate to the history and development of arms and armour (excluding artillery) from the earliest period to the present day. However, there are also a number of works on related subjects such as art, technology, warfare, chivalry and knighthood, martial arts, hunting and shooting, archery, and a collection of museum and exhibition catalogues from around the world.

Special Collections

There is a small collection of early books on fencing, dating from the 16th to 19th centuries and including the works of Marozzo, di Grassi, George Silver, and others.

There is a collection of books on the art of war, dating from the early 17th to late 19th centuries, and including the drill books and manuals of Sir John Smythe, Jacob De Gheyn, and Henry Hexham, among others.

There are number of illustrated books on various aspects of chivalry and knighthood, as well as a number of facsimile reprints of other important 16th century tournament books.

Film and Image Library

The Image Library contains high resolution images of some of the finest items in the Royal Armouries collection. Copies can be purchased as digital images and licenses are available for editorial, commercial and academic use. For further information contact library@armouries.org.uk

The film and image library also holds copies of the various films and videos on show around the Museum, including the popular Arms in Action series.

Did you know?

Waterloo telescope

The telescope carried by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo is in the Royal Armouries collection.