Alpine Club Archives


The AC Archives contain a wide-ranging collection of documents going back to the earliest days of mountaineering, and as such form an invaluable resource for researchers. Examples of some of our material can be seen in the AC Archive Album, and the AC archive catalogue can be accessed via the National Archive.

Contents include:

  • Diaries and personal correspondence of British and foreign mountaineers, including the first letter to be written from the summit of Mont Blanc, illustrated above
  • Ladies Alpine Club archive (1907 – 1975)
  • Mountain guides’ notebooks (Führerbücher)
  • Newspaper cuttings (1891 – date) 
  • AC Club management papers dating back to the foundation of the Club in 1857 (restricted access)
  • Membership qualification papers (restricted access)
  • AC Presidential and Secretarial papers (restricted access)

There is a computer database catalogue, though this is only accessible by Archives staff (or by the Librarian). It is hoped to remedy this situation before long, with at least a printed version of the catalogue available in the Library for visitors to consult.

The Archives are normally open one day each week. If you wish to visit you should check first by e-mail to the Hon Archivist, copied to the Librarian (, who can also be contacted by telephone on 0207 613 0745.

Charges for use of the Archives are as follows:

Visit fee: £5 per day, students £2.50, AC members free
Photocopying (only where copying is possible without risk of damage to the document): £0.50 per sheet, students and AC members £0.25
Digitally scanned images: this option is available for fragile documents or images required for publication (in which case a separate fee for use of copyright material has to be negotiated).
Minimum charge £50, though this may be negotiable.
Postage: charged at cost

The Hon Archivist, Glyn Hughes, can be contacted on 01494 792073, or at the e-mail address above.


ALPINE CLUB, 55/56 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3QF
Telephone: (+44) (0)20 7613 0745       Email: