Search the new online catalogue of our books and manuscripts

Titlepage of 'A Serious Proposal...', Mary Astell

We’re delighted that the online catalogue of our books and manuscript collection is once again available, following its move to a new hosting platform. Our online catalogue provides details of all the books and manusripts that have been catalogued into our collection. Alongside publication details, entries often include notes on inscriptions or the former owners of the specific copy we hold, along with a record of its acquisition by Chawton House. Browse our unique collection of works by early women writers, primarily from the period 1600-1830, alongside extensive secondary literature.

Click here to search the catalogue

Tips for using the online catalogue

Know what you’re looking for?

If you know what you are looking for, visit the ‘Search Catalog‘ page. Here you can limit your search term by category such as ‘Title’ or ‘Author’.

NB. We have noticed that the ‘Default’ category search option does not always recognise special characters. We recommend limiting your search by category to avoid this error, until it is fixed.

Wanting to browse?

You can see the wide range of our collection by using the below links to browse by category:

Browse all authors

Browse by publisher

Browse by collection

For example, see only works in the Knight collection, or our manuscript collection


On the homepage there is a member login. Do I need to sign up as a member in order to search the catalogue?

No, you can search the catalogue without having a membership, just visit the search catalogue page. However, if you request to visit our Reading Rooms you will be invited to set up a membership with our hosting platform, Librarika. This will require your name and basic contact details. You will then be able to link your Librarika account to Chawton House and use it to order works directly from our catalogue. This will streamline the process and give you a clear record of every work you have requested, for future reference. If you are unable to set up an account for accessibility reasons, we can  of course accommodate this.

What if I am searching for a work that doesn’t have an author?

Works without an author listed on the titlepage are either listed with ‘No Author’ or ‘Anonymous’ in the author field. You can use these search times as you would an author’s name.

When will the Reading Rooms reopen?

We are looking forward to when we can welcome researchers and interested members of the public back to Chawton House to use our books and manuscript collection. However, with changing government restrictions, we have been unable to open the Reading Rooms and have no fixed timeline for when this will be possible. As soon as we are allowed to reopen and can safely accommodate visitors, we will once again be able to schedule library visits. Updates will be posted on our website, social media and broadcast through our e-newsletter.

In the meantime, our Curator is available to answer any questions. Please get in contact via our Library Visit enquiry form.