ResourcesWe have an extensive library of reference books and field guides covering all aspects of wildlife, together with Island history, geology and archaeology. Many of these are available for loan by members. The Society archives, together with field notebooks and diaries of eminent past members of the Society, are held in the library. There are also runs of a number of different journals including those exchanged with natural history societies and field clubs elsewhere in the country.
We have a large library of photographic and other material held in digital form. It includes historical images, like maps and contemporary photographs, and documentation of many of the activities of the Society. Perhaps most importantly, it is a very extensive locally sourced data holding of visual records of the flora and fauna of the Island, consisting of everything from simple photographs to high-resolution scans and microscopy. Collectively, all this forms an important resource for research and education.
The Society headquarters hold some items, such as microscopes and collecting equipment, which may be available as a loan for special studies.
As a scientific society the accurate recording of all the different groups of plants and animals is an important part of what we do. The Society headquarters holds the Island’s main species database where all records are aggregated. This, calling on a system of distributed databases, holds many thousands of Island records of plant and animal species. The records are kept up to date by field observations each year and help to inform policy concerning conservation issues. They are the principal source of information about the biodiversity of the Isle of Wight and we supply, through an agreement, the majority of the records relied upon by the Local Records Centre of the Isle of Wight Council.