Thousands of people visit The New Forest Centre each year but only a small fraction visit the Library – did you even know it was there?
The Christopher Tower Library is a wonderful resource located in The New Forest Centre but not many people know it exists.
Housing the most amazing collection of information and history on the area, it is also thought to contain the largest collection of the great classical works on the Forest (published from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries), and there is a very large collection of general books on the Forest together with guides and books on Forest walks. It really is extraordinary to see such an amazing treasure chest of data available to the public in a single location.
What Else Can You See?
A collection covering natural history is extensive and includes the observational notes made by the late Eric Ashby from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Woodland and forestry is very well represented and includes a number of limited reports produced by the Forestry Commission. Collections include the Library of the medieval forest specialist David Stagg, Gypsies of the New Forest and material relating to military use of the Forest.
You can see a list of all the men killed and commemorated on the war memorials of every parish with extensive biographical notes.
Check out books on the New Forest airfields, military hospitals and the manoeuvers of the later nineteenth century
No matter what your age, if you are interested in learning more about the New Forest, The New Forest Centre is very keen for you to visit and share this enjoyable resource with them – they would also welcome any help from volunteers in spreading the word and getting involved and help keep it open for the public to visit.
If you are looking to help the public, work in a very unusual place, or simply want to try new experiences, volunteering at The New Forest Centre is an opportunity that benefits both the Library and the individual volunteer.
The Centre is committed to providing volunteer experiences that actively assist individuals who are interested in working in such a library environment or who are seeking experience and knowledge to make a career change or gain additional skills.
Volunteer placements therefore come with some degree of real responsibility but support, full training and staff guidance is provided.
To volunteer at The New Forest Centre, for the Library in particular (but other opportunities are available), please contact Suzy on 02380 283444.