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Inside the Cathedral Archive

Posted By : Amber Rawlings Friday 16th February 2018

Salisbury Cathedral is the custodian of two extensive and internationally important collections: the Cathedral Library and the Cathedral Archive. Both collections date back to the medieval period and contain thousands of books and original documents.



Throughout the year we hold events showcasing some of the many interesting and valuable books in the Library and to enable people to visit the Library room above the East Cloister. These events include a monthly Library Tour and Tea (bookable in advance) and regular free spotlight talks featuring particular items in the collection. Occasionally the Library is also open for visitors as part of their regular visit to the Cathedral.


The archive collection is even less well known than the Library and access, unfortunately, is very restricted – the main storeroom can only accommodate 2-3 people at a time. We are currently undertaking a programme of re-cataloguing and repackaging the archive to increase our knowledge of the collection and to ensure its long term survival.  We also want to ‘open up the archive’ to as many people as possible, young and old, and to share its rich treasures but due to lack of space to display and exhibit the documents this is not easy.  


This short film, created by students at Bournemouth University, is a way for us to tell everyone about the archive and to showcase some of its treasures as well as demonstrating the ongoing cataloguing and research work undertaken by Cathedral staff and volunteers. We hope you enjoy watching it and finding out more about this incredible but rather hidden collection.