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Reminiscence collection

Surrey to reopen libraries from 6 July

Surrey County Council plans to start gradually reopening libraries across the county from 6 July, in line with Government guidance. The first libraries to reopen will be Camberley, Dorking, Egham, Epsom, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Horley, Oxted, Redhill, Staines, Weybridge and Woking.

We're working hard to start reopening services in other libraries and further updates will be posted on our Coronavirus information page, including information about what services will be available, which services are paused, and safety measures.

Welcome to the newly revised Reminiscence Collection.

This collection is designed for anyone in Surrey who is supporting someone with dementia or memory impairment, whether at home or in a care or group setting. The collection consists of a wide range of materials for use in reminiscence therapy, including books, DVDs, games, flashcards, activities, jigsaws, music and artefacts, all aimed at evoking memories and stimulating discussion and conversation.

Some materials have been gathered together into Themed Reminiscence Boxes. These boxes contain a selection of different items on a specific theme (e.g. Wartime, Family Life, Seaside). They are designed to make it easier for you to choose a selection of items without having to go through the whole catalogue.

The Collection is kept at Woking Library. It is not on open access but can be viewed by appointment. To book an appointment, please email or phone 01483 541518.

Take a look at the latest version of the catalogue (PDF).

How to register

Users of the Reminiscence Collection can have a designated Reminiscence Borrower library card that allows loans of up to 12 items for up to 6 weeks. A Reminiscence Borrower can be an individual caring for a family member or friend at home, or a care worker/activity organiser working in a care home.

To obtain a Reminiscence Borrower library card, an individual or care worker must take the following identification to any Surrey County Council Library.

  • An individual will need proof of their home address – e.g. a driving licence or utility bill.
  • A care worker/activity organiser will need two items of identification – proof of home address (e.g. driving licence or utility bill) and also workplace ID which includes the work address, such as a badge or letterhead.

How to borrow items

Registered users can borrow up to 12 items for a period of 6 weeks.

The service is free of charge to registered Reminiscence Borrowers. Reminiscence Collection items can be borrowed on a standard library card, but, in this case, normal reservation and overdue charges will apply.

All reminiscence stock is on the Surrey libraries' catalogue and can be borrowed by reserving it in one of the following ways:

  • Directly from the online version of the Reminiscence Collection catalogue by clicking on the item you want to reserve - you will be taken to the Surrey libraries' catalogue entry, where you can reserve the item using your library card number and PIN.
  • Using a printed version of the downloaded Reminiscence Collection catalogue (PDF), you can reserve items online, entering the title of the item as it appears in the catalogue. (You will need your library card number and PIN).
  • By emailing the Library Information Service on and asking for items to be reserved for you.
  • By visiting your nearest Surrey library in person and speaking to a member of staff.
  • If you are reserving items by phone or email, please quote the item reference number, which appears to the right of each entry in the Reminiscence Collection catalogue.

    Items can be delivered and returned to a Surrey library of your choice.

    For further information about the collection, please ask at your local library or contact the Library Information Service on 01483 543599 or email

Files available to download