The Alpine Club, the world’s first mountaineering club, was founded in 1857.  For over 150 years, members have been at the leading edge of worldwide mountaineering development and exploration. 

With membership, experienced and aspiring alpinists benefit from a varied meets programme, regional lectures with notable guest speakers, reduced rates at many alpine huts, opportunity to apply for grants to support expeditions, significant discounts at many UK retailers, extensive networking contacts, access to the AC Library and maps - and more! 

Becoming a Member

Alpine Club Library 

The Library, housed in the Club's premises, has an unrivalled collection of over 30,000 books, magazines, club journals, expedition reports and rare historic material. Some modern guidebooks, photographs (see AC Photo Library) historic diaries, press cuttings and correspondence (see AC Archives).

Many books can be borrowed by AC members, the exceptions being guidebooks and valuable items. Books can be borrowed in person or by post within the UK. Photocopies can be requested in person, by post or email.


You can access the library catalogue online here or by using the search box below:

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New Books



Contact the Library

The Library is normally open from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, except during the month of August and for the Christmas / New Year period.

For Alpine Club members, the Library remains open until 7.00pm on lecture evenings. If travel from afar is involved, please check the opening times in advance.

The telephone number for the Library is 020 7613 0745 - Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Using The Library

Members of the AC, ABMSAC, and Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society may use the Library free of charge.

Other users are invited to make a financial contribution to running costs.

AC members may use the Royal Geographical Society Library free on production of their AC membership card.


World Maps

The Alpine Club has world maps to help members plan their expeditions. Typically we have numerous maps in electronic format that can be emailed on request. Please provide either the map reference number or the specific location of interest. The following regions are available:

Himalaya, Karakorum; Hindu Kush; China – Tibet; China – Central; China – Xinjiang; Pamirs; Fann Mountains; Tien Shan; Altai; Sayan; Kamchatka; Iran; Caucasus; Turkey; Morocco; Ethiopia and South America.


The Library was founded in 1858, in the first year of the Club. In 1972 it was established as a separate charitable trust, managed by trustees appointed by the British Mountaineering Council and the Royal Geographical Society as well as the Alpine Club.

The Library relies greatly on financial donations and legacies, as well as difts of books, photos or artifacts. Diaries, correspondence, and press cuttings are welcomed as gifts or deposits to the Archives. The Honorary Treasurer of the Library will readily advise on procedure for making bequests and tax-effective covenanted donations.

Annual Reports

The Alpine Club Library not only maintains the Club's collection of books and maps but also taskes responsibility for organising exhibitions.

To discover what the library have been up to, you can read our most recent annual report

Historic reports from 20162017, 2018 and 2019 are also available to view.