Welcome to the Priaulx Library

Steeped in history, the Library has been the centre for local records and culture since 1889.

The Library's collections are maintained in Candie House, a Georgian townhouse that was donated to the people of Guernsey by Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx along with his vast book collection.

Si bibliothecam habes in horto, deerit nihil (with apologies to Cicero!)

The Priaulx Library, set in picturesque Candie Gardens, has been collecting, cataloguing and preserving records, artefacts and books that document Guernsey's history since 1889. The Library aims to make this important collection as accessible as possible and the archives are open to the public. You can also search our collections online from the Guernsey Libraries catalogue. Our librarians are also able to assist with enquiries and work closely with individuals, schools and other institutions on research and educational projects.

Our collections include maps, family records, pictures, photographs, books, local newspapers, family and military records and important local documents. We are a lending and reference library, and provide research and reproduction services.

Candie House was built around 200 years ago by Peter Mourant, a merchant and businessman, and was later bought by Joshua Priaulx in 1830, who sold it on to his brother Osmond de Beauvoir. In 1871 Osmond gifted his collection of rare books, together with the house and its grounds, to the island of Guernsey. That's Osmond to the right; a scholar, liberal, and bon viveur, he was apparently a lot more fun in real life than he looks in his picture!

Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx

Facts and Figures

Everybody is welcome to the Priaulx Library. We have clients from every continent, from academics to authors; from amateur genealogists to school children. Books, documents, newspapers and images of every size and description are waiting to be explored. A place to get your questions answered, or just to enjoy yourself.

18,000

visitors in 2014

25,000

catalogued items

224

years of Guernsey newspapers

Our Staff

Sue Laker. Priaulx Library, Guernsey
Chief Librarian

Sue Laker, BA (Hons), Dip. Lib., CMS, MCLIP

Sue is fascinated by Guernsey’s history, island life and its scenery and chose to complement her degree in history with a qualification in librarianship.

Prior to joining the Priaulx Library she worked at the Greffe and the Guille-Allès Library. Her areas of local expertise include the German Occupation of Guernsey, local maps, the history of Methodism and the history of Guernsey from 1500. Her favourite collections at the library are the rare books and local maps. She is the Methodist Archivist for the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Dinah Bott, Priaulx Library, Guernsey
Website Editor

Dinah Bott

Dinah read classics at Oxford and spent three years at the Bodleian Library working on Greek epigraphy for the British Academy database project, The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names. She then produced electronic databases and CD-ROMS of science and reference material on behalf of Pergamon Press and other publishers. Her particular interests are in languages, philology, art, and social history; she specialises in old documents, the miniatures of Mathias Finucane, and the life and works of Victor Hugo and his family. She is the Chairman of the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society.

Dinah now writes and edits the Priaulx Library website with the aim of making its unique holdings more accessible to the world, often translating local documents into English, and administrates the Library's Facebook page.

Our Facilities

Disabled Access

Access is via a ramp situated at the rear door. A lift provides easy access to the first floor.

Parking

Limited parking is available to all Library users. Additionally some street parking can be found nearby.

Free WiFi

Free wi-fi is available within the Library for public access on your own computer. Please ask us for the password. 

The Library Council

As directed by the original trust, The Priaulx Library is directed by a council. Current members are:

Major O. Priaulx (Trustee)
Jurat C. H. Le Pelley (Trustee and Council Chairman)
W. Le R. Robilliard (Trustee and Council Vice-Chairman)
A. Hunter Adam (Lt-Governor Appointee)
Advocate M. J. S. Eades (Lt-Governor Appointee)
States' Appointee (Allister Langlois)
The Dean of Guernsey
J. Palmer (Principal, Elizabeth College)
P. Le Pelley (States' Appointee)