Female Biography (1803)

Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of all Ages and Countries. 6 vols. London: Richard Phillips, 71 St. Paul's Church-yard, 1803.  

One possibility as a source for some of the books Hays used for her research may have come from friendships or acquaintances Hays had with members of the London Library, formed in 1785 by a group of Dissenters and which moved to 108 Hatton Garden (about one block from Hays's residence at 22 Hatton Garden), at that time the home of Charles Taylor (1756-1823), a Dissenting writer (Independent) and brother of the engraver and Independent minister, Isaac Taylor, father of the poets and writers for children, Jane and Ann Taylor. Her old friend during her time as a reviewer for the Analytical Review, Dr. George Gregory, was a founding member of the Library, as well as John Towill Rutt, close friend of Crabb Robinson; two prominent Unitarian ministers, Andrew Kippis and Abraham Rees; and Dr. John Coakley Lettsom, the prominent physician who treated Hays's fiancé, John Eccles, just prior to his death in 1780.   

A better possibility is the Westminster Library, founded in 1791 and which moved to 10 Panton Square, near Piccadilly, in 1795, sharing space with the Linnean Society. In 1804 the Library moved to new quarters at 44 Jermyn Street. Among its early subscribers was Alexander Geddes (1737-1802), a reviewer, like Hays, for the Analytical Review in the 1790s. In 1798 George Gregory also became a subscriber, providing a second possible link to Hays and the collections of the library. The collections were much larger than the London Library and more inclined to be of value to Hays's research for Female Biography. By 1808, the number of volumes exceeded 6,700. 

Other possibilities of libraries that might have been accessed by Hays through male friends would have included the collections of the King's Library and the British Museum. See K. A. Manley, "The London and Westminster Libraries, 1785-1823," The Library 6-7 (1985), pp. 137-59.