One of the key resources maintained and made available by the Royal Numismatic Society is our reference library, jointly owned and maintained by the British Numismatic Society. The joint library is housed on the fourth floor of the the Warburg Institute, London, and houses over 19,000 volumes and periodicals. The Library is for reference only (i.e., no borrowing is permitted). The Library books now appear in the Warburg Institute’s online Library  catalogue – simply search the catalogue by Title, Author, Subject, and by Keyword.

A searchable spreadsheet of all the books held in the RNS/BNS Library is also available on the BNS website. Please note: It does not include the periodicals or sales catalogues, which still need re-cataloguing. A new catalogue will soon be added to; this will allow our library collection to be easily searched from the internet at any time.

How to access the Library. All RNS members wishing to visit the Library will need to register for a free Warburg Institute Reader’s Card. This can be obtained from the Warburg duty librarian’s desk – they are issued by the Warburg and not by the RNS/BNS. To get your reader’s card, please bring valid photographic ID (e.g. passport, driving licence, national ID card), proof of address, and be prepared to show a recent (i.e., within a year) copy of the RNS e-newsletter on your phone, laptop computer, or as a printout (please ensure your email address is visible); this will act as proof of Society membership.

Rare books / Locked section. Until the RNS/BNS Library is moved to its permanent location in the Warburg (Spring 2024), all items in the rare books / locked section of the numismatic library will be inaccessible. This is to keep them safe during the refurbishment; these items will be stored in a secure location. Once the move is complete, our numismatic library will be available to significantly more readers and with vastly extended opening hours: our library will be open to all members of the RNS, the BNS and all Warburg readers – it will be on open shelves rather than in our own locked room.

Please email all enquiries to our Librarian, Brad Shepherd, at