Alpine Club Library
The Alpine Club Library, housed in the Club's premises, has an unrivalled collection of over 30,000 books, magazines, club journals, expedition reports and rare historic material. Some modern guidebooks, photographs (see AC Photo Library) historic diaries, press cuttings and correspondence (see AC Archives).
Many books can be borrowed by AC members, the exceptions being guidebooks and valuable items. Books can be borrowed in person or by post within the UK. Photocopies can be requested in person, by post or email.
Using the Alpine Club Library and Opening Hours
The Alpine Club Library is normally open from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, except during the month of August and for the Christmas / New Year period.
For Alpine Club members, the Library remains open until 7.00pm on lecture evenings. If travel from afar is involved, please check the opening times in advance.
Members of the AC, ABMSAC, and Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society may use the Alpine Club Library free of charge.
Other users are invited to make a financial contribution to running costs.
Members of the Alpine Club may borrow items from the main library collection - apart from guidebooks. Books can be borrowed in person or by post (within the UK). Photocopies can be requested in person, by post or email.
AC members may use the Royal Geographical Society Library free on production of their AC membership card.
If visiting the Alpine Club Library to conduct research then it's worth emailing the librarian with details of your area of interest so they can retrieve items ahead of your visit. Please note that the library may need prior notice if you want to consult items held in the library store, archives or photo collection in order to have sufficient time to retrieve them.
You can access the Alpine Club Library catalogue online here or by using the search box below:
Contact the Alpine Club Library
Telephone:- 020 7613 0745
Address: - Alpine Club Library, 55 Charlotte Rd, London, EC2A 3QF
The Alpine Club Library not only maintains the Club's collection of books and maps but also takes responsibility for organising exhibitions.
To discover what the library have been up to, you can read our most recent annual report.
The Alpine Club has world maps to help members plan their expeditions. Typically we have numerous maps in electronic format that can be emailed on request. Please provide either the map reference number or the specific location of interest. The following regions are available:
Himalaya, Karakorum; Hindu Kush; China – Tibet; China – Central; China – Xinjiang; Pamirs; Fann Mountains; Tien Shan; Altai; Sayan; Kamchatka; Iran; Caucasus; Turkey; Morocco; Ethiopia and South America.
The Alpine Club Library was founded in 1858, in the first year of the Club. In 1972 it was established as a separate charitable trust, managed by trustees appointed by the British Mountaineering Council and the Royal Geographical Society as well as the Alpine Club.
The Alpine Club Library relies greatly on financial donations and legacies, as well as gifts of books, photos or artifacts. Diaries, correspondence, and press cuttings are welcomed as gifts or deposits to the Archives. The Honorary Treasurer of the Library will readily advise on procedure for making bequests and tax-effective covenanted donations.