The Library offers both a lending library facility and a local history resource centre. It occupies the upper floor of the Manor Court House, a grade ii listed building.
Lending Library

This occupies the large  room on the right as you reach the top pf the stairs. On entering the room, you will find a small bookcase on  your left containg leaflets and brochures about local events and resources.The Library is divided into 2 parts. The front half as you enter contains  hardback modern fiction and is arranged in alphabetical order. On the left between to 2 windows are large sized fiction books. The rear half contains fiction books from the early years of the Library in our own unique cataloging style and a reference section.


As you enter the inner triangle from the window side of the Library, you will find paperback fiction on the left and crime fiction on the right.


The early years start on the shelves at the rear of the room and continue around the outside of the triangle of shelves, finishing inside the triangle on the right. (Sounds confusing, but there is a logic to it). At the rear of the Library can be found history and travel with biography along the window shelves. More non fiction can be found on the outside of the triangle of shelves.


Do feel free to wander round and browse through the books. If you are not sure where something can be found - Ask the librarians



The Reading Room and Houghton Archive

The Eddy Shipley Reading Room is on the left at the top of the stairs. This room was named after Eddy Shipley, who is a former President of the Institute. The shelves on the opposite wall as you enter contain original copies of the Epworth Bells newspaper. Founded in 1872, this paper contains local news and reports for Epworth and the Isle of Axholme. This archive has recently been rebound and users wishing to access it must wear gloves (provided by the Library). Please treat with care and respect, as the earlier volumes are quite fragile. You should also beware that reading these is addictive and you will quickly become side tracked from what you are looking for !


The room also contains local history books, directories and books about Lincolnshire and the surrounding area. Copies of Read's History of the Isle and Stonehouse are available alongside Directories by Kelly and White. You will also be able to access maps about the area and photographs. Please be aware that some of these resources are in the process of being catalogued and may not be fully available.




Originally,all our books were recorded on a card system, but this has been transferred to computer. This is still being up-dated, but the Librarians can use it to find books and documents for you. The Eddie Harrison Bells archive is being transferred to the computer to enable easier access to the Bells newspaper.


We are able to photocopy and scan documents. In the case of the Epworth Bells, copies can only be scanned or photographed. If you wish to scan or photograph items youself, you MUST

​ask permission and pay a fee for each copy.

Items from the Reading room are NOT available for loan.


If in doubt ask the Librarian. You will often find they can find you an alternative source or put you in touch with someone who knows about your query

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