New Room Library




36 The Horsefair, Bristol, BS1 3JE


0117 926 4740

Alternative Names

John Wesley’s Chapel Bristol

Contact & Job Title

Kate Rogers, Manager

Purpose & main user community of the library

We welcome anyone who wants to use our collections and ask for research advice. Our service is open to everyone, free of charge. In addition to those doing research, we welcome those who want to improve their understanding of the Christian faith, Methodism and various aspects of family or local history. Primary Users: College and University researchers, family history enthusiasts, researchers interested in Methodist church history, visual culture, architecture and Bristol history.

Terms of access

Drop-in during opening hours, or email the Collections Manager to arrange an appointment to access archive material. Facilities include worktop benches for researchers, toilets, free wifi and power for your laptop and devices. You can also enjoy a break from your research in our café or pay a visit to our museum.

Opening hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10.30am – 1pm. Closed Bank Holidays. See website for details of other public holidays.

Disabled access

Library is on the first floor. A lift is available.

Lending to other libraries & visitors

Reference Library only. To discuss the possibility of a short-term loan for exhibition please contact the Collection Manager

Number of volumes

8,000 (books and pamphlets)

Periodicals – Back Issues

42 (complete and incomplete)

Current Periodicals


Other materials

Letters, Journals and Notebooks (1200 items). Portraits of Methodist ministers, mainly from Wesleyan journals (ca 1250 items). Postcards (mostly connected with the chapel).

Volumes added per year

approx. 50


What’s here at the New Room Library? the works of John and Charles Wesley, many printed in Bristol in the 18th century. books and pamphlets on Methodist history and biography. Minutes of Conference of the Methodist Church and its various sections, since 1745. The Proceedings of The Wesley Historical Society since its inception and almost all of the regional publications. an almost complete run of The Arminian/Wesleyan and Methodist Magazine. Methodist and other hymn books since 1737. extensive collection of local histories, many for particular chapels, especially for Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Special Collections

Watkinson collection of Methodist portraits, especially presidents of the Methodists Conference from John Wesley onwards.

Research resource

Bristol Methodism

Catalogue Type

Card, working towards digitalisation (all accessioned items digitalised)

URL of catalogue
Other facilities

Photocopying at 10p per sheet.

Part Time Staff


Voluntary Staff


Anything else about the library

The first library at the New Room was created by John Wesley. This was lost when the building was sold in 1808 but a new library collection was started in the 1930s. The new Library to house this was officially opened in July 2017 and it also contains hundreds of volumes that were once within the libraries of the Methodist Music Society and Wesley College, Bristol.