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Subject guides: Human Rights


This page contains information about the following information resources:

Printed collections

The principal collection for human rights is in Room 212 on the second floor of the Main Library in the Wilkins Building. Textbooks and monographs are classified by subject and arranged on the shelves in classified order. The classification scheme consists of the name of the subject (indicating the collection and section of the Library) followed by letters and numbers denoting its topic and position on the shelves.

The main sections of the human rights book collection are:

  • HUMAN RIGHTS A - Human rights – general
  • HUMAN RIGHTS C - Human rights – international
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CA - International protection of human rights
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CB - United Nations and human rights
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CC - International inter-governmental organizations
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CD - Civil and political rights / fundamental rights and freedoms
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CE - Economic and social rights / human development
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CF - Cultural rights
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CG - Specific victims of human rights violations / vulnerable groups
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CJ - Right to peace / international security
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CK - Armed conflicts / humanitarian law
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CL - Genocide
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CM - War crimes and crimes against humanity
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CN - International terrorism
  • HUMAN RIGHTS CP - International migration
  • HUMAN RIGHTS H - Human rights – regional
  • HUMAN RIGHTS HA - Africa
  • HUMAN RIGHTS HB - Americas
  • HUMAN RIGHTS HD - Europe
  • HUMAN RIGHTS HE - Middle East
  • HUMAN RIGHTS HF - Pacific
  • HUMAN RIGHTS J-W - Human rights – countries

Human rights case reports, arranged alphabetically by title, are located in the Donaldson Reading Room on the first floor of the Main Library in the Wilkins Building.

Other collections which contain material of relevance to human rights are:

  • LAW (Main Library – Donaldson Reading Room) for books on constitutional law and the European Union, as well as primary materials and law journals.
  • PUBLIC POLICY (Main Library - Room 212, 2nd Floor) for material on political administration and theory.
  • INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (Main Library - Room 212, 2nd Floor) for material on security studies and peacekeeping.
  • PHILOSOPHY (Main Library – South Corridor, 1st Floor) for material relevant to jurisprudence.
  • GEOGRAPHY (Science Library - 1st Floor) for material on international development.
  • ANTHROPOLOGY (Science Library - 2nd Floor) for material on vulnerable groups and political systems in a social context.
  • ECONOMICS (Main Library – South End, 1st Floor) for material on economic theory and policy.

Remember to use Explore, the Library's online catalogue, to find out exactly where a specific item is held.

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Electronic collections

Material in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. If you are offsite, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password. For more information visit the Information for electronic Library resource users section of the Library Services website.

Electronic journals

To view an alphabetical list of electronic journals by title, subject or publisher, or to search by ejournal title, click here.


Library Services subscribes to many bibliographic and full-text databases. For a complete listing please view the A-Z list, or browse by subject. Databases of importance to human rights are:

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), is an online index for social science research, focusing mainly on the 4 core social science disciplines - anthropology, economics, politics and sociology – but it also covers a range of interdisciplinary subjects. IBSS includes approximately 2.5 million references to journal articles, books, reviews and selected chapters.

JSTOR is an interdisciplinary, full-text archive of over 1,000 leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references.

Web of Science is a multidisciplinary database, incorporating ISI Science Citation Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. It also offers cited reference searching, enabling users to find out which other articles cite a particular article.

Nexis UK, formerly known as Lexis-Nexis Business & News, is a full-text database of most major national and regional newspapers in the UK. It also includes a selection of newspapers and industry publications from around the world, as well company and country information.

Relevant law databases include:

Westlaw UK contains the full text of cases and legislation from the UK, US and many other countries, as well as large range of journals from the US and some from the UK. For a full list of contents see the 'Directory' section of the database after logging in.

Lexis Library contains a similar range of full-text cases and legislation as well as journals from the UK, US and other countries. In addition it contains transcripts of selected unreported cases from the higher UK courts from 1980 onwards.

Reading Lists Online

The reading lists for many modules are made available online. They include links to the library catalogue and, in some cases, scans of journal articles and book chapters.

Exam papers

Copies of past exam papers for many courses are available online. Printed copies can be found in the Main Library Photocopying Room.

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Other libraries

Senate House Library covers the social sciences and law, and has an extensive collection of British official publications. Borrowing access is available to all UCL staff and students.

The library of the London School of Economics (LSE) is a depository for the European Union, United Nations and the United States Government and has extensive holdings of official publications from the UK and overseas.

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) in Russell Square is the legal research institute for the University of London and has one of the best collections of foreign, international and comparative legal materials in Britain. Access is restricted to postgraduate students and staff. UCL undergraduate students may be given access to IALS to consult material not available elsewhere in the University of London if they have a letter of recommendation from their tutor or the UCL Law Librarian.

Union catalogues:

The Union List of Serials lists the journal holdings for the University of London and is useful for locating journal titles not held by UCL.

COPAC is a combined catalogue of the holdings of the major research universities in the UK and as such can be used to locate material not held by UCL.

More information about using other libraries and links to other library catalogues is available here.

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Contact details

If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Enquiry Desk, or ask for the Subject Librarian for Law & Human Rights:

Suzanne Traue

Main Library, South Corridor, Room 105
E-mail: s.traue@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: internal: 32588; external: 020 7679 2588

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Last modified 19 January 2010

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