The printed book collection contains a broad range of works relating to the history and archaeology of Yorkshire and the North of England in particular, which complement other material within the University Library. The collection also includes reports on important archaeological sites throughout the UK and studies which contextualise the history and archaeology of Yorkshire.
Printed works owned by several significant members of the Society became part of the Society's library collection. These include the collector Sir Thomas Brooke of Armitage Bridge (1830-1908), Librarian of the House of Lords Sir Charles Travis Clay (1885-1978), historian of Wakefield J.W. Walker (1859-1953), antiquarian Thomas Mcall Fallow (1847-1910), and archaeologists B.W.J. Kent of Tatefield Hall (d. 1969), Jean Le Patourel (1915-2011), and Mary Kitson Clark (1905-2005). Copies of works dedicated to the Society or given in memory of members are preserved within the collection reflecting the history of the Society and its collecting.