The Société Jersiaise was founded on January 28th 1873; one of its objectives was "to work towards the foundation of a library, composed mainly of works of history and archaeology". Considerable collections of family archives, local newspapers and almanacs, photographs, prints, maps and genealogical material have been assembled, which are of crucial importance as primary source material.
The Lord Coutanche Library and the maps and prints collections of the Société Jersiaise are available to the public for research and reference. The Library collects material on Jersey and the other Channel Islands, Normandy, Brittany and parts of southern England which impinge on Jersey's history, trade and communications. Most of the family archives are in French as is about a tenth of the book stock.