The Thomas Keller Library and Resource Centre provides facilities for researchers wanting to find out more about the Museum’s main themes.

The Thomas Keller Library was sponsored by the Keller family to support the River & Rowing Museum as a reference collection, offering research facilities and access to the most comprehensive collection of rowing books and reference material in the world. It also contains extensive archive and reference material on the River Thames and the town of Henley on Thames and its environs.

The library is also available for researchers to view objects from the Museum’s collection by appointment. The collection can be searched online including reference and archive material. As we will often need to remove items from storage to be viewed, it helps to have a clear idea of what you would like to see before contacting a curator.

Library Collections

  • The Chris Dodd book collection was put together over a period of thirty years by the journalist and author during his time as rowing correspondent of the Guardian, editor of Regatta magazine and co-founder of the River & Rowing Museum.
  • The Rowing Collection covers all areas of the sport of rowing from professional rowing and watermen to the royal regatta and university boat race.
  • The John Piper research archive of reference material was established by the Museum due to its long association with the artist’s work. This archive includes catalogues from many of his exhibitions, biographical material and a library of books showing his work as a photographer and illustrator.
  • The Thames Collection includes many books from the Thames Conservancy’s library. They cover a range of subjects including the environment, geography and management of the Thames, as well as the River’s use for leisure and as an inspiration to artists.
  • The Henley Collection includes a number of books relating to the history and development of the town of Henley and the local area.

Vistor Information

Telephone: 01491 415600


We always welcome research enquiries and will get back to you as soon as we can. Due to the limited availability of our curators, at least 2 weeks’ notice of a visit is necessary to ensure that the relevant work and member of staff can be made available. Please note that appointments are only available on weekdays and, that due to our two year collection documentation and stores programme ending in summer 2021, you may have a longer wait before we are able to get back to you.

In the meantime, please see below for some resources and organisations which may help with your research.

You may like to begin by searching our online collection.

You may also find the following useful:


Hear The Boat Sing

Friends of Rowing History

The Sport Of Rowing: Two Centuries of Competition

Sporting Heritage

British Rowing

Leander Club

River Thames

British History Online

Environment Agency

The Waterways Archive, based at the National Waterways Museum

Museum of London

The Berkshire Record Office

River Thames Society

Henley on Thames

Henley-on-Thames Town Council

Henley-on-Thames Archaeological and Historical Group

Victoria County History (online resources)

Victoria County History (information about Red Book series)

Oxfordshire County Council (local studies and family history resources in libraries)

Oxfordshire County Council (online resources)

John Piper

The main archive of John Piper’s work is held at Tate, London.

Books:David Fraser Jenkins and Hugh Fowler-Wright, The Art of John Piper (2016)

Darren Pih, John Piper (2017)

Frances Spalding, John Piper, Myfanwy Piper: Lives in Art (2009)

Orde Levinson, ‘Quality and Experiment’: The Prints of John Piper – A Catalogue Raisonné (1996)