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Subject guides: Planning


Welcome to the UCL Library Services subject guide to Planning. This guide provides links to and information about resources relating to this subject, and covers both our printed and electronic collections:

Training sessions

Regular training sessions on electronic library resources are held throughout the year in the DMS Watson building Teaching Cluster. For dates and times see the Information Skills Training pages. Individual training sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

For further information or to arrange an individual training session contact the subject librarian for Planning at
lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk or see contact details below.

WISE for Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences

WISE is a comprehensive, step-by-step online guide to finding and using information effectively. Click here to access WISE, select Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences and log in using your UCL user id and password.

Printed collections

The principal collection for Planning is in the Bartlett Built Environment Library on the fifth floor of Wates House. There may also be relevant material in the Main Library & in the Science Library. See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

Book collections

The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves. A typical classmark for an open-access book will consist of the name of a subject (indicating a section of the library) followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the shelves in that section, e.g.

TOWN PLANNING A 42 HOW for a couple of titles by Ebenezer Howard (where Planning is the collection, A 42 the classified position within the town planning section of the collection HOW the first three letters of the author's surname).

TOWN PLANNING J 15 TYL for Accessibility and the Bus System edited by N. Tyler (where Planning is the collection, J 15 the classified position within the town planning section of the collection TYL the first three letters of the editor's surname).

Some important sections in the Planning collection are as follows:

TOWN PLANNING A - for planning generally
TOWN PLANNING B - for planning in particular regions
TOWN PLANNING B 5 - for planning in Greater London
TOWN PLANNING C - for planning in particular towns & cities
TOWN PLANNING C 11 - for planning in particular London boroughs
TOWN PLANNING G 5 - for development planning
TOWN PLANNING H - for housing
TOWN PLANNING J - for transportation & public works
TOWN PLANNING R - for rural planning

Some useful sections in other libraries are:

GEOGRAPHY (Science Library, 1st floor), which includes additional material on urban geography and development planning.

ECONOMICS (Main Library, South end, 1st floor), which contains material on urban and developmental economics as well as surveys of particular regions.

GUTER (Science Library, 4th floor in Engineering) is a small collection, part of which is concerned with pollution.

LAW (Main Library, Donaldson Reading Room) includes material on planning law, government policy, etc.

LONDON HISTORY (Main Library, South end, 2nd floor), for materials on the history and development of London in particular.

PUBLIC POLICY (Main Library, South end, 2nd floor) includes material on the formulation of all aspects of government policy.

STORES holds rare material, and older and low-use items, all off-site in Wickford. For information about Stores, please see the Stores pages. To request an item from Stores, click here.

Historic and rare material is kept in our SPECIAL COLLECTIONS at Kew. To explore lists of UCL archive collections, visit the new UCL Archives database. To find out more about this resource, and about Special Collections, visit the UCL Special Collections homepage.

Use Explore to find the exact class mark (shelf location) of a book.

Journal collections

Journals are kept separately from books, usually adjacent to the relevant book collections.

Journals are kept separately from books. Planning journals form part of the BARTLETT PERIODICALS collection in the Bartlett Library. The current year's issues can be found on the current display stands in the corner by the Issue Desk. Older issues are shelved in the periodicals section in the centre of the Library. Journals are usually available for overnight loan (after 4pm until 10am the following morning). For information on electronic journals, see below.

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Electronic collections

Electronic resources

Material held in electronic format is available to registered members of UCL. For access to electronic resources - both at UCL and remotely - you will need to identify yourself with your UCL userid and password. The first time you access electronic material from off-site you will also need to set a cookie which will identify you as a member of the UCL community. For information about this, visit the information for electronic Library resource users section of the Library Services website.

The following resources may be of particular use to planning students:

  • GEOBASE, a geographical database, which includes bibliographic information and abstracts for urban studies and development studies. Coverage starts from 1980 onwards.
  • IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences), which indexes the contents of journals, book collections etc in the social sciences, including economics, geography, anthropology, sociology & politics. Coverage is from 1951 onwards.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index which indexes a wide range of journals from 1981 onwards. It is one of the resources within Web of Knowledge. For more information you can follow a number of online tutorials in various languages on the Web of Knowledge website by clicking here. You will need a browser running Flash Version 8 or higher to view these tutorials.
  • Urbadoc which is a compilation of European databases focusing on planning and urban issues.

Other useful electronic resources include:

  • Digimap is an online digital mapping and data extraction facility using Ordnance Survey data of Great Britain.
  • Nexis UK (LexisNexis Business and News) which is primarily a legal database, but which also offers full text news files from a substantial number of international newpapers. Dates of coverage for individual newpapers varies.
  • Resource for Urban Design Information (RUDI), which is a virtual library of information on urban design, containing full text documents and excerpts from others.

Electronic journals

As with other electronic resources, a range of electronic versions of journal titles is available to registered members of UCL. Visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/ejournal/ for a full list of titles and information on how to access them. Planning titles can be browsed alphabetically by following the link to the e-journals page and clicking on the “Subject” heading. From there, select your subject from the category list.

Exam papers

For information about exam papers, and access to all undergraduate and postgraduate papers for the last 5 years up to 2010, go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/exam.shtml. Online papers for Planning and DPU are available via this link. Paper copies of exam papers for the current year are held in the Bartlett Library. Older papers are available in printed format and are kept in Stores. These can be requested by clicking here.


The MetaLib cross-search and resource-finding tool provides quick access to a range of resources for Planning, including e-journal collections, subject gateways and directories, image databases, eprints, trade literature and information about organisations. For example, MetaLib can display a list of relevant indexing and abstracting databases to help shape your study of planning. For further information see our guide.

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Other libraries

The Senate House Library (University of London in Malet Street) has useful material in its Geography section as well as housing a collection of maps. Any registered member of UCL can join the library and borrow from there.

The LSE's library (known as the British Library of Economic and Political Science) holds substantial material on the social sciences including geography and development studies. It is also a designated European Documentation Centre (collecting EU publications & documents) and has substantial statistical resources. It is available for reference use by any member of UCL, but only academic staff and research postgraduates may borrow from there. (The library may however limit access to materials which are designated for its own taught courses).

SOAS Library (School of Oriental & African Studies) houses important collections of African, Asian and Middle Eastern material and also has stong development studies collections. It is available for reference use by any member of UCL, but only academic staff and research postgraduates may borrow from there. (The library may however limit access to materials which are designated for its own taught courses.)

The Marylebone site of the University of Westminster Library holds materials on planning, housing & transport, as well as a substantial map collection. It is available for reference use by any member of UCL, but only academic staff and research postgraduates may borrow from there. (The library may however limit access to materials which are designated for its own taught courses.)

For more information about the use of other libraries, see the full information at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib.shtml.

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Contact details

For further help, visit the Bartlett Library Issue Desk, which is staffed during the Library's opening hours. The issue desk can also be contacted on extension 24900, or on 020 7679 4900 for external callers.

The Subject Librarians for Town Planning are Suzanne Tonkin and Caroline Fletcher, who are based in the Bartlett Built Environment Library and who may be contacted by email at lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk, or by telephone on extension 24901 or 020 7679 4901.


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Last modified 13 July 2009

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