The Library's general collection of books, periodicals, maps, recordings and other documents has been accumulated from the donations of members and other benefactors since its foundation in 1988. The Library has no budget for acquisitions.
A number of late members who were substantial collectors themselves have honoured the Library with handsome bequests of books. These collections are permanently retained, though not all elements may be displayed. Among those who have made such bequests are:
The Library is deeply grateful to all of these scholars and benefactors, and honours their memory.
Also displayed by the Library are elements of the collections of the Research into Lost Knowledge Organisation (RILKO) and the Wessex Research Group. These scholarly bodies have arranged with the Library for some of their books to be made available to the public, and in return the Library undertakes the books' curation. These books may be read by anyone but are not available on loan.
Because the Library lacks sufficient space for its collections a policy exists of removing from the shelves duplicates, particularly those in poor condition, and works which are considered to be largely derivative.
Also removed periodically are books which have been accepted as donations and entered into the Library's records, but which on reflection appear to be outside the 'esoteric' definition.
Wasting nothing, the Library, which is not allowed by its constitution to dispose of a surplus by selling books on its premises, arranges with a reputable dealer in secondhand books (currently Messrs. Courtyard Books) to exchange spare books for any items on the Library's 'wish list' which come into their hands.
During 2007 a major effort was mounted by some of our volunteers to catalogue and curate our growing collection of periodicals. These are now available for reference and include Prediction, Kindred Spirit, The Mountain Astrologer, Pagan Dawn and many others.