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Honor Frost Library, Special Collections, Hartley Library: About


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.
  • 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 - material in this area can be used by members of the University whenever the Hartley Library is open. Access for visitors is between 08.00-22.00 and photo ID is required 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 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.


Library Search includes records for all Honor Frost Library books and journals (call number Frost). It enables you to search the Library's printed books, journals and electronic resources at the same time. Access to e-resources is limited to staff and students of the University.

Basic Search

Enter keywords / author surname / significant title words in the search box and then refine the Results List using the filters on the left e.g. by book / date  / subject. You can re-sort the Results List to your preferred order using the drop-down menu at the top of the list. 

To limit a search to the Honor Frost Library, enter your search terms followed by B8: Frost

Library Search groups print copies, e-books and different editions of the same work under one record in the Results List. To see the separate records, select the 'Show all' filter.

Advanced Search

Using Advanced Search, you can undertake a more targeted search by selecting search indexes from drop-down lists and by presetting filters for format and date.

To limit a search to the Honor Frost Library, include 'B8: Frost' as a keyword search.

See Honor Frost Library for a list of titles.

Borrowing Books

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


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

Reprographics Service

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

Self-service photocopying facilities are available for visitors. You can create a personal photocopying account and add credit to it by visiting our MyPrint page and following the instructions. 

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.

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

Related Collections (Southampton)

Archive Collections