Visiting the Library

Opening hours

The RAS library will operate restricted opening hours from Friday 21 May 2021. It will be open by appointment only on Fridays from 11am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 4pm.

Visitor access

Fellows, Friends of the RAS and other visitors who wish to consult materials from the RAS Library and Archives will need to make an appointment.

If you wish to visit the library on a Friday, please make the appointment by midday on the Wednesday of that week, so that we can check that material requested is available to consult.

There is space for two readers and one member of staff at any one time.

If you do not make an appointment, it will not be possible to admit you to the building. 

You can make an appointment by emailing or by phoning the librarian on +44 (0)20 7292 3963. 

When you make your appointment, please tell us what materials you wish to consult from the library and archives, so that we can ensure it’s available to consult and fetch it in advance of your visit. You can search most of our collections using the catalogues online, and we are happy to answer any questions about what we hold in the library and archive.

If you are not a Fellow or Friend of the RAS, please bring identification with you so that we can register you as a reader. 

Keeping everyone safe

In order to increase ventilation, the Library windows will be kept open as much as possible, so you might need to wear warm clothes.

We are still asking visitors to wear face coverings, unless exempt. 

Please don’t come to the Library if you feel unwell or anyone in your household is showing symptoms of COVID-19.


We are happy to answer general enquiries about our collections and the services we provide. Before you contact us, you might find the answer in our book and journal catalogue or our archive catalogue. For details of these and other sources of information on astronomy and geophysics, and biographical information on past Fellows, see Help with your research.

If you can't find the answer to your question on the website, contact the librarian. We can't carry out detailed research for users but will point you in the direction of alternative sources of information if they exist.


Inside the Royal Astronomical Society Library
Royal Astronomical Society Library