Rare UK Guidebooks - Your Help Needed

Welsh guidebooks over the years including Paul Williams original Snowdonia Rock Climbs (1982), 52 kb
Do you frequent second-hand bookshops and are you in possession of some rare pamphlet rock climbing guidebook which you jealously guard and show only to your closest friends? If so then read on.

In 1971 George Bridge produced a Bibliography of Rock Climbing Guidebooks in the British Isles and this was later updated by Jill Neate in 1986 within a Bibliography of Mountaineering Literature. Sadly though there were many gaps and errors owing to information about rare pamphlet guidebooks being hard to track down.  Some guidebooks were produced only for members of a club. Since then several dedicated guidebook collectors have diligently searched bookshops and websites in pursuit of rare items in order to enhance their collections.

More recently an extensive project has been in operation to compile a definitive 'Bibliography of British and Irish Guidebooks' which the BMC is soon to publish after the project has been completed. On each page the format will show pictures of the front covers of nine guidebooks which will be accompanied by full details of each one. The book is arranged to show the main areas such as: Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Peak District etc.

View the sample chapter - South Wales

With the help of the major clubs so far over 1,000 guidebooks have been identified and even at this late stage new entries are still coming in. In Ireland alone with the enthusiastic help of local climbers the number of known guidebooks has nearly doubled to over 100. As this project is unlikely to be updated in the foreseeable future it is hoped that this publication will be as close to being definitive as humanly possible. If you are in possession of any rare guidebook particularly in pamphlet form please if possible send full details (front cover scan, dimensions, number of pages, photos diagrams etc) to Alan Moss at

The BMC has also compiled a list of 'missing' guidebooks which we are desperately trying to locate to obtain details.

Many thanks for your interest in the hope that you may turn up a long forgotten guidebook which has so far eluded us.

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