The Alpine Club, the world’s first mountaineering club, was founded in 1857.  For over 150 years, members have been at the leading edge of worldwide mountaineering development and exploration. 

With membership, experienced and aspiring alpinists benefit from a varied meets programme, regional lectures with notable guest speakers, reduced rates at many alpine huts, opportunity to apply for grants to support expeditions, significant discounts at many UK retailers, extensive networking contacts, access to the AC Library and maps - and more! 

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The AC Archives contain a wide-ranging collection of documents going back to the earliest days of mountaineering, and as such form an invaluable resource for researchers. 

Archive Contents

  • Diaries, personal accounts of expeditions and ascents, and correspondence, including, for example, the first letter to be written from the summit of Mont Blanc, and Mallory's last letter to Odell from Camp 6 on Everest.
  • The original Fuhrerbucher/Carnets of leading alpine guides.
  • The archives of the Ladies Alpine Club
  • Newspaper cuttings from the mid 19th century to the present time.
  • Minutes of the Alpine Club meetings and newsletters from the foundation of the Club in 1857 to the present day (restricted access)
  • Membership application papers (restricted access)
  • Presidential and Secretarial papers (restricted access)

Access to material

There is an electronic catalogue of the Archives, accessed through the Hon. Archivist and/or Librarian, and also through the National Archive Discovery site. 

The Archives are normally open two days a week (Tuesday and Thursday). If you wish to visit please check first with the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and copied to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Hon Archivist and Librarian can also be contacted by telephone on +44 (0)207 613 0745.

We can provide photocopies or scanned images of archive documents on request.

The Eileen Healey Diaries


Eileen Healey was a very active climber, a member of the Ladies Alpine Club, and subsequently of the AC. After her death in 2010 her family discovered boxes in the attic containing a remarkable series of climbing diaries, starting with family holidays with the Holiday Fellowship in the 1930s, through to her honeymoon in Norway in 1958. They had not previously known of their existence. The diaries include detailed descriptions of her rock climbing in the UK, and also of climbing in the Alps starting in the late 1940s, soon after the Alps became accessible again following the war.

The family presented the diaries to the AC, and we scanned them. Eileen’s husband Tim arranged for them to be transcribed, and their son Jamie edited them into their current form. It was a condition of the gift to the AC that the diaries be made as accessible as possible, and you can read them by clicking on the link diaries

Eileen was a member of the all-female expedition to Cho Oyu in 1959, and we also have archive material from this expedition, including the film made by Eileen.

Charges

For personal visitors to the Archives we suggest a minimum donation of £5.00 per visit (£2.50 for students), free for AC members)

Standard photocopy fee 50p per sheet
AC members and students  25p per sheet
Postage Charged at cost

For research carried out on your behalf by the Archives' staff, please request a quotation.