National Meteorological Library and Archive

Examples of charts, data and publications held within the library and archive
Library icon Study area icon

From its beginnings in the 1850s as the library of the Meteorological Department of the Board of Trade, the National Meteorological Library and Archive has become one of the most comprehensive collections of material on meteorology anywhere in the world. As the national collection on all aspects of the weather and climate and the approved Place of Deposit for UK meteorological records, we are the custodians of the 'public memory of the weather' and a major resource for scientific and historical research.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

Met Office
FitzRoy Road
Exeter EX1 3PB

Mon-Thur 09.00-17.00
Fri 09.00-16.30

Great Moor House
Sowton Industrial Estate

Mon-Fri 10.00-18.00

n.b. to arrange a visit to the Scottish archive (in Edinburgh), or for enquiries relating to access to records for Northern Ireland, please telephone or email using the contact details given above.

The Library and Archive in Exeter and Edinburgh are closed on Bank Holidays, and for the period between Christmas and the New Year.

Additional info

If you would like to visit to the National Meteorological Library, you do not need to book your visit in advance, but you should bring some personal ID when you visit.

If you would like to visit the National Meteorological Archive in Exeter or in Edinburgh, please contact the relevant archive in advance to arrange your visit, in order to ensure that the materials you require will be available. You should also bring some personal ID when you visit the Archive.

The Library collection contains books, journals, conference proceedings, reports and data, covering meteorology, climatology and related sciences. It includes all the key published writing on these subjects over the last 200 years from the UK, and a selection of writing and data from around the world.

The Library collection also includes UK Daily Weather Reports (later Summaries) - a summary of weather conditions over the UK for every day since 1st January 1861, and a substantial online collection of weather images, including clouds, weather phenomena, the Met Office at work, and historic images.

The Archive holds original meteorological data and observations (including autographic records), Climatological Returns, ships logs and weather reports dating from the 1860's to the present day, and private weather diaries dating back to the 18th century. The Archive also holds synoptic weather charts prepared by Met Office forecasters, dating from 1867 to 2003 (more recent charts are produced in electronic format). The collections is particularly strong in information for the Second World War period, including German Daily Weather Reports.

The Archive also holds collections of historical literature owned by the Royal Meteorological Society, including some of the earliest published writing on meteorology.

Collection details

Science and Technology, Natural Sciences, Maritime, Aviation, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Beaufort Scale (original in archive)
  • D-Day weather chart (original in archive)
  • Royal Meteorological Society historical collections
  • Online image collection (clouds and other weather phenomena)
  • Information about extreme weather events
  • Marine / ships' meteorological log books including HMS Beagle
  • Registers of meteorological observations
  • Synoptic weather charts
  • Autographic records - barograms, anemograms, hyetograms, hygrograms, thermograms, sunshine cards
  • Data for wind, snow, rainfall, sunshine
  • Weather records from Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition of 1911
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Daily weather charts for key meteorological events

A series of information sheets containing a summary of weather information for significant meteorological or historical events in the UK:
Thames Valley flooding 2-3 June 2008
Severe floods in Somerset 29 May 2008
Heavy rain across Devon and Cornwall 14 May 2008
Severe gales 31 January to 1st February 2008
Severe floods in central England 20 July 2007
Boscastle flood 16 August 2004
Temperature record 10 August 2003
Burns Day storm 25 January 1990
October Storm 16 October 1987
Heavy rain across East Devon 19 July 1972
Rainfall record in Martinstown 18 July 1955
Coronation Day 2 June 1953
East coast floods 31 January 1953
Lynmouth flood 15 August 1952
D-Day 6 June 1944


  • Met Office


  • Met Office

How to obtain

The daily weather charts can be freely viewed online or printed

Fact Sheets on the weather and meteorology

A series of fact sheets on the following: Clouds; Thunderstorms; Water in the atmosphere; Climate of the British Isles; White Christmases; the Beaufort Scale; Climate of Southwest England; the Shipping Forecast; Weather Extremes; Air Masses and Weather Fronts; Interpreting Weather Charts; National Meteorological Archive material; Upper Air Observations and the Tephigram; Microclimates; Weather Radar; World Climates; Weather Observations


  • Met Office


  • Met Office

How to obtain

Fact sheets can be freely viewed online or printed

Subject Guides on weather and meteorology

A series of Subject Guides, containing information on the books, artciles and other recources available in the National Meteorological Library and Archive. Titles include: Weather and climate of Devon; Our changing Climate; Weather and climate of the British Isles; Introduction to Weather and Climate; Storms, severe and extreme weather; Arctic and antarctic meteorology; Biography and collected works; Meteorology in wartime; Weather forecasting through the ages; Clouds; Meteorological instruments


  • Met Office


  • Met Office

How to obtain

The Subject Guides can be freely viewed online or printed.

National Meteorological Library and Archive
Met Office
FitzRoy Road


National Meteorological Library and Archive website

Met Office website


For all library or archive enquiries please email


National Meteorological Library

01392 884841

National Meteorological Archive (England & Wales)

01392 360988

National Meteorological Archive (Scotland)

0131 528 7311

For enquiries about Archive material for Northern Ireland, please contact

028 9441 7050

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.