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Subject guides: Archaeology


Printed collections in UCL Library Services are described below. There is also information about:

Databases Electronic journals
Exam papers Web resources

Printed collections

The principal holdings for archaeology are to be found in the Library of the Institute of Archaeology (31-34 Gordon Square); consisting of three collections:

  • Egyptology
  • Institute of Archaeology
  • Yates

There may also be relevant material in the Science Library (in the DMS Watson building), especially in the Anthropology and Geography collections; for the ancient world generally in the Main Library (especially in the Ancient History, Classics and Jewish Studies collections); for architecture in the Environmental Studies Library (Bartlett School); for strong collections relating to Eastern Europe in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

Book collections

The Library has its own classification schemes for arranging books on the shelves.

It starts with general sections on the history and theory of the discipline,


For example items located at INST ARCH AG deal with cultural heritage management and the history of the discipline

INST ARCH AH; for theory in all its aspects

Sections from INST ARCH DA- DH deal with the archaeology of specific regions and locations

For example at INST ARCH DAA you will find material relating to the United Kingdom and Ireland (with in the case of England a detailed breakdown county by county for individual excavation reports)

For materials relating to the continent of Asia see INST ARCH DB

For example items relating to individual sites in Iraq will be found at INST ARCH DBB 10

Sections from INST ARCH H - K are arranged thematically

For example HA deals with the origins of agriculture and domestication

KD contains materials relating to pottery

INST ARCH L covers all aspects of conservation

INST ARCH M deals with museology and management of archaeological heritage

Larger volumes (described as Quartos or Qtos) are shelved separately in the area to the left of the Library as you enter opposite the Issue Desk. Outsize volumes (Folios) are shelved flat at the rear of the stacks along with a number of the larger atlases.

Periodicals (with the location INST ARCH Pers)

Periodicals are shelved in the rear stacks on the right with the sequence starting at the far end of the Library where the Egyptology collection ends . Currently about 700 titles are taken. Journals are not normally available for loan. Owing to lack of space, a large number of older runs of journal (generally pre-1975) are stored offsite at Wickford from where they may be requested. Certain journals eg Antiquity have the complete run on open access and the majority of Egyptology journals (with a few exceptions) are still housed on open access.

The Institute's archives and collection of early photographs may be consulted at the Library's Special Collections (140 Hampstead Road, Camden, London NW1 2BX)

For electronic journals, see below.

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Electronic collections

Electronic sources material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL: you will usually need your user id/password for Information Systems in order to gain access to them.

Indexes and Abstracts

Archaeology covers a wide range of disciplines and researchers may need to consult a number of databases for bibliographical references. Among the bibliographical indexes which the Library offers are, starting with the general:

Also extremely useful are

  • Anthropological Literature, indexes articles and essays on anthropology and archaeology, including art history, demography, economics, psychology, and religious studies.
  • Anthropological Index Online, contains bibliographic citations from the journal holdings of the de facto national anthropological library of Britain (British Museum).
    It covers anthropology and archaeology with strength in the areas of sociocultural anthropology, ethnology, and material culture.
  • Anthropology Plus, is a combination of the above two databases.
  • FRANCIS (FRA), indexes a wide range of multilingual, multidisciplinary information from the humanities and social sciences, 1984-.

For Medieval studies there is the excellent International Medieval Bibliography, which indexes over 4,000 journals, books, and conference proceedings.

For the archaeology of the British Isles (United Kingdom and the Irish Republic) consult the BIAB (the british and irish archaeological bibliography) which" contains datasets covering publications from AD 1695 to the present day on archaeology and the historic environment, historic buildings, maritime and industrial archaeology, environmental history, and the conservation of material culture ..".

For maps consult Digimap, on-line digital mapping and data extraction facilities using Ordnance Survey data of Great Britain. Please note that there is a special registration procedure for Digimap which must be followed before the service can be used.

For a complete list of databases available at UCL, see the list at: www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/database/

Electronic journals

Electronic journals A range of electronic versions of journal titles is available. Start from the list on the Library's web pages at:
where you will find details of access arrangements for each title.

Of particular importance in archaeology is the range of titles available in JSTOR - a project to store long back runs of selected journals in electronic form, e.g. American Journal of Archaeology. Access is available on the Web at: www.jstor.ac.uk/

For an example of a highly successful ejournal designed for publication on the Web see:

Internet archaeology. See http://intarch.ac.uk

The Institute publishes its own conservation journal

Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies. See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/conservation/jcms

Exam papers

Copies of UCL examination papers for undergraduate courses (from 1997 onwards) are available on the web at
Printed copies of the archaeology papers (from 1997- ) are held in the Institute of Archaeology Library in the main reading room.

Archaeological organisations


For government publications

English Heritage

National Trust

Council for British Archaeology

Institute of Field Archaeologists

Prehistoric Society

Society for Industrial archaeology



For cutural heritage & museums


International Council on Monuments and Sites

International Council of Museums

Canadian Heritage Information Network

For ancient world studies

Abzu: guide to resources for the Study of the Ancient Near East

Egyptology resources

Griffiths Institute

For medieval studies


For marine and underwater archaeology

Navis: a database on ancient ship archaeology

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Other libraries

Other libraries within London University which have important collections readers may wish to consult are:

The University of London Library (at Senate House in Malet Street) has relevant collections. All members of UCL are entitled to register as borrowers.

The SOAS Library (School of Oriental and African Studies) has excellent collections for African, Asian and Middle East materials. It is available for reference use by an member of UCL, but only academic staff and research postgraduates may borrow.

The Institute of Classical Studies Library/Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies has excellent collections on Greek & Roman archaeology.

The Warburg Institute Library for an interdisciplinary approach to the history of the reception of the classical tradition.

Also in London but not part of the University are:

The Society of Antiquaries of London Library located in Burlington House (London W1J 0BE), covering archaeology (especially British), architectural history and the decorative arts and older works of British local history, British county archaeological and record society publications.

The Library of the Egypt Exploration Society is an invaluable resource for Egyptology (located at 3 Doughty Mews, London WC1N 2PG).

The Anthropology Library (the Library of the Department of Ethnography of the British Museum (the Anthropology Library), located at the former Museum of Mankind, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3EX.

For a listing of the archaeological journal holdings of over 20 of the principal university, museum and private libraries in the UK see the Archway project

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

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Contact details

If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Issue Desk and ask the subject librarian for Archaeology:

Robert Kirby
e-mail: r.kirby@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: internal: 2 7485 external: 020 7679 7485



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Last modified 10 January 2007

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