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Access to other libraries for UCL students and staff

UCL Library Services aims to provide most of the material required for its taught courses, but for research material and further reading you may need to use other libraries. This page describes some of the additional resources available to UCL students and staff.

University of London Library

Senate House, Malet Street, WC1
020 7862 8439/8440

The University Library (often referred to as "Senate House") has extensive collections, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. UCL pays an annual subscription so that any member of UCL may register and borrow books from here.

Further information, including the University Library's online catalogue, can be found at the Library's website

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School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
020 7898 4190

An arrangement between UCL and SOAS allows members of each College special library privileges - over and above those usually offered between University of London institutions.

Under the agreement the privileges are as follows:

  • Staff: 10 books
  • PhD/MPhil students: 6 books
  • Taught postgraduates: 3 books

Undergraduates cannot borrow but are able to obtain long-term reference access for the academic year.

Current UCL ID is all that is needed.

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Other University of London college libraries

In general, UCL undergraduates and taught-course postgraduate students will be allowed reference only access, free of charge, to other University of London libraries. UCL student ID is sufficient.

An exception is the Courtauld Institute, which will only admit people who can demonstrate that the item they need to consult is not held at UCL.

Research postgraduates and academic staff will also be allowed to borrow books from other UL libraries. UCL staff ID is needed, and some libraries may have other requirements for allowing access (eg. an SRX card (see below) or passport-sized photograph). Please contact the library you wish to visit before setting out to confirm any local conditions for access.

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The British Library

96 Euston Rd, NW1
020 7412 7677

All UCL Students and Staff can now apply directly to the British Library for reference access upon production of a full, valid UCL ID card, a further form of identification (eg. Driving License, passport) and confirmation of home address (eg. utility bill, council tax bill).

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University of Westminster

115 New Cavendish Street, W1M
020 7911 3171

UCL has a special arrangement with the University of Westminster, which allows UCL students and academic staff access to Westminster's various site libraries. Current UCL ID should be enough to ensure access.

Law students are excluded from this agreement.

Staff and research postgraduates can also apply to borrow books under the SCONUL Research Extra scheme (see below).

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Other British academic libraries

UCL is a member of the SCONUL Research Extra (SRX) borrowing scheme, which allows academic staff and research postgraduates from participating institutions to borrow books from each other's libraries. This means that UCL academic staff and research postgraduates can expect to be able to borrow books from the majority of academic libraries in Britain and Ireland. A full list of participating institutions can be found at: http://www.sconul.ac.uk/using_other_libraries/srx

UCL members wishing to take advantage of the scheme must first obtain a special SRX card from Library Services before travelling. These can be picked up from any Issue Desk or Enquiry Desk. Cards will be issued to any member of academic staff with a current UCL staff photocard, and students registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification awarded purely by research.

Please bear in mind that some participating libraries will expect you to complete local application forms and/or to register for identity cards that are produced and administered by them. Experience is showing that this can result in delays and prevent UCL colleagues from borrowing immediately they visit an SRX library for the first time. Accordingly, our advice is that you:

  • plan in advance wherever possible
  • contact the library or libraries you wish to visit in advance, and ascertain what local conditions apply.

If you do not wish to borrow books, an SRX card is not necessary. UCL staff ID or proof of research postgraduate status should be sufficient for you to obtain reference only access to any university library in the country.

UCL taught-course students can use other university libraries during the vacations, but access may be restricted during term-time. It is therefore advisable to contact the library in question before travelling.

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Last modified 14 March 2007

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