Coronavirus Update

The Reading Room is closed to the public for the time being. All reading group meetings and Life & Learning events due to take place in it up until the end of June have been postponed or cancelled.

You do not need to return books out on loan or renew them until we reopen, even if they are overdue.

Our reprographics service is suspended, but you can purchase images of Mappa Mundi from the online shop.

You can contact Library & Archives staff via email: [email protected]. We will try our best to answer enquiries, but are unable to undertake lengthy research.

Hereford Cathedral Library and Archives are housed in the New Library Building, the entrance to which is in Palace Yard, between the west end of the cathedral and the entrance to the Bishop’s Palace, adjacent to the north end of Gwynne Street. Please press the CALL button to the left of the door. Once you are inside the building, the reading room is on the second floor, accessible by stairs or lift. All areas are accessible to wheelchair users.

Opening times

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 am – 4 pm
First Saturday in the month 10 am – 1 pm

Other times by appointment.

**Please note that the lift in the Reading Room is currently out of order and therefore there is no step free access. Please contact the Reading Room should you require advice or assistance.**

Reading room

The reading room is freely available to anyone during opening hours for private study and consultation of modern collections and finding aids. It is equipped for the use of personal computers, and has a microfilm reader, photocopying facilities, and photographic service.

Historic collections

The historic collections consist of all the medieval manuscript books, early printed (pre-1801) books, some 19th-century works, manuscript and printed music, as well as prints, drawings and photographic materials. Requests to consult historic material must be made well in advance.


The cathedral archives consist of the records of the Dean & Chapter documenting the history of the cathedral and its considerable property throughout the county from the early Middle Ages until the present day. The collection includes title deeds, manorial and ecclesiastical court records, minutes, accounts, maps, architectural drawings and personal papers.

NB The Library does not hold archives of the Bishop, which are available with the other diocesan records at Herefordshire County Record Office.

Modern collections

The modern reading room houses the modern lending and reference library. It is mainly theological, but also rich in local history, general and church history, biography, decorative arts, architecture and music. Membership of the library is free and members can borrow six books for up to two months from the lending library.

New Books are regularly added to stock. The Library has a small budget for the purchase of new books and is fortunate to have supporters who regularly donate material.


The catalogue of the medieval manuscript books is available in print as Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Hereford Cathedral Library by R A B Mynors and R M Thomson (Cambridge, D S Brewer, 1993).

Printed works can be found on the online catalogue.

This catalogue contains most of the books printed after 1850. We are currently cataloging all those works printed before this date, and the records are being updated regularly.

The archive catalogue is not yet available online, but can be accessed in person in the reading room.

Contact us

For further information, please contact:

Hereford Cathedral Library and Archives
Hereford Cathedral
5 College Cloisters
Cathedral Close

Tel 01432 374225/6

Fax 01432 374220

[email protected]