Chawton House Library Lower Reading Room

Chawton House Library Lower Reading Room

The executive team and board of trustees – recently enhanced by several new appointments – are currently undertaking a strategic review of Chawton House Library. We are focusing on shaping the organisation for the future so that it can continue to develop as a beacon of historic and literary excellence, whilst also ensuring it is self-sustaining. While this work is ongoing, we have decided to temporarily suspend the existing residential fellowship programme. For the next two years, we will concentrate on delivering a plan for the overall vision for Chawton House Library. This planning will include looking at routes to reintroduce residential fellowships as part of a wider strategy.

Visiting fellows working hard in the Upper Reading Room

Visiting Fellows working hard in the Upper Reading Room

Open access and world-class standards

Since 2007, our competitive Visiting Fellowship programme – run in partnership with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton – has enabled those who wish to use our collections to stay on-site in our beautiful Elizabethan converted Stables. Ten years after the first visiting fellows arrived at Chawton House Library, we have built up a community of alumni across the globe.

The aim was to ensure open academic access and world-class standards, and our offer and our Fellows’ engagement and results have matched that aim.  We are tremendously proud of the articles, theses and books our Visiting Fellows have written, and the part that the fellowship programme has played in the successful careers of our alumni.

Use of the Library

The Library itself is not changing, and access to the reading rooms is still very much available. It remains entirely free of charge to use our impressive collection in its beautiful setting. Please contact our librarian Dr Darren Bevin for access:

Development Plans

Over the coming months there will be more news of the developments at Chawton House Library. If you would like to get involved please contact our Director of Fundraising, Jane Lillystone – or find out about donating here: