The George Waterston Library & Archives Collection
Search the collection
The SOC has been collecting ornithological books, journals and bird reports since 1948 to the present day, making it the largest ornithological library in Scotland. This up-to-date working collection has a particular emphasis on Scottish material and meets the needs of beginner bird watchers, researchers and professional ornithologists.
The Club has a large and unique collection of ornithological archives, ephemera and artefacts including material relating to the SOC, as well as notebooks, correspondence and photographs belonging to amateur enthusiasts and eminent Scottish ornithologists. Highlights include Baxter’s and Rintoul’s diaries and George Waterston’s bird watching notes written whilst incarcerated in a German prisoner of war camp. Our archives are now available to search on the JISC Archives Hub, using the link below.
Obituaries of well-known Scottish ornithologists, all of them former members of the SOC, can be accessed here.
Online reference books and journals
A great deal of reference material is now available online. Some of this is free to access but often there is a charge for the most recent material. Click here for links to some useful lists of journals and to collections of digitised ornithological books.
Book and archive donations
The Club is extremely fortunate and grateful to receive donations of high quality natural history books. We welcome donations that enhance the library and archive collection and provide stock for our second-hand bookshop to raise funds for the SOC (titles which duplicate what we have in the library already will be offered for sale).
We accept donations of:
- Hardback books relating to all aspects of worldwide ornithology including travel/exploration narratives and art history
- Archival material that you think would be of interest to the SOC.
- Artwork by established ornithological artists.
Unfortunately we are not able to accept donations of:
- Paperback books or multi-part serial publications
- General glossy ‘coffee table’ books
- Modern periodicals
Planning your visit
The library is occasionally used for meetings and so not always available for users. Please check with the office before travelling.
We can provide scans and photocopies: up to one chapter, one article from an issue of a journal or 5% of the publication, whichever is the greater. Charges are:
- Black and white photocopies: 5p per sheet for the first 20 pages and 10p per sheet thereafter
- Colour photocopies: 15p per sheet
Please complete and return a Copyright Declaration Form with every request.
Can't find what you're looking for?
Try searching the national database of library holdings. In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s National Libraries (including the British Library), many university libraries, and specialist research libraries.
Page header image © Steve Cox