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Honor Frost Library, Special Collections, Hartley Library: About



For general enquiries about the Honor Frost Library contact:

email: or  tel. 023 80593335

Search Room Bookings:

email: or tel. 023 80592721

Address: Special Collections, Hartley Library, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Special Collections Home Page

Printed Special Collections

A-Z List of Collections

Borrowing Books

Most Honor Frost Library books in the open access area are available for Long Loan.

If you have a University I.D./Library Card you can borrow books at the Loans Desk or at the self-issue units on level 2.

From: Antoine Poidebard Un grand port disparu: Tyr (1939)

Frost quarto D 89.T8 POI

Related Collections

Archive Collections

Honor Frost Library

The Honor Frost Library contains books and pamphlets on the subject of underwater archaeology with a particular focus on the Mediterranean Region. It covers the development of the techniques of underwater archaeological investigation, reports on individual wrecks, books on the history and archaeology of harbours of the area, contemporary guidebooks and classical texts. Many of the books have been annotated by Honor Frost and the collection includes publications to which she contributed.

Extent: 756 books and pamphlets, ranging in date from the 19th century to the 21st century.

Location and Access


The Honor Frost Library is part of Special Collections on level 4 of the Hartley Library. 

  • Modern books (call number Frost) are shelved in the Special Collections open access area and can be used whenever the Hartley Library is open.
  • Older books (call number Rare Books Frost) are fetched for use in the Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room.


Special Collections Open Access Area - members of the University and visitors over 18 are welcome to use the material in this area whenever the Hartley Library is open. Visitors will need to show photo ID when signing in at Library Reception. If you are under 18 please contact with your enquiry. 

Our computer workstations are only available to University staff and students, but you can connect your own device to the free WiFi Guest service. 

Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room - this is now open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600. All visits are by prior appointment and all visitors will be required to book their visit and to order their material at least 1 working day in advance. 

Bookings are made by emailing providing details of name, University ID number (members of the University of Southampton only), permanent residential address and contact details, date of visit and list of items to be consulted.

If you do not have a University I.D. Card, you will need to show photographic I.D. and a form of I.D. which includes your permanent residential address when you enter the Hartley Library and also when you arrive at the Search Room.


  • WebCat includes records for the Honor Frost Library.

Collection History

The Honor Frost Library is part of the personal collection of Honor Frost (1917-2010) and was presented to the University of Southampton in 2017 by the Honor Frost Foundation.

A pioneer in the field of underwater archaeology, Honor Frost initially studied art before going on to work for both the Ballet Rambert and the Tate Gallery. Having taken up and developed a passion for diving, she was introduced to the archaeological investigation of wrecks by Frederic Dumas. After working on archaeological plans for Kathleen Kenyon, Honor Frost recognised that underwater archaeology required the application of similar scientific techniques, particularly in terms of record keeping, and these she developed and applied to subsequent investigations. Honor Frost is probably best known for her discovery in 1971 of a Punic shipwreck near Marsala in western Sicily, her investigations of the Pharos site at Alexandria and her research on stone anchors.

The collection also includes a small number of books owned by the modern art collector, Wilfrid Evill, who was Honor Frost's legal guardian.

Honor Frost Under the Mediterranean Sea (1963)

Frost D 973 FRO

Reprographics Service

The nearest copier is behind the main staircase on level 4. The nearest copier is behind the main staircase on level 4.

Visitors wishing to make photocopies of items can create a guest account and add credit online, then login to any of the photocopiers (multi-functional devices) in the library.

Bound volumes in Rare Books cannot be photocopied but you can request photographic or microfilm copies, subject to the age and condition of the item.

See Reprographics Service for a list of the types of copy available and charges.