UCL home page



UCL Library Services


Magnifying glass image
Explore the Library’s books, journals and online resources. Find out more


Subject guides: Philosophy

Philosophy section

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

Printed collections

The principal collection for Philosophy is located in the south corridor of the Main Library (Wilkins Building.) in the Main 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.
PHILOSOPHY GB 180 ART for a book about Hegel.

PHILOSOPHY J 170 AUD for an introduction to Epistemology.

Some of the other main sections which contain relevant material are:

ART (Main Library: south end) : books and periodicals concerning aesthetics.

CLASSICS (Main Library: north end) : books and periodicals discussing Classical philosophy and literature.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE (Science Library: DMS Watson Building, third floor) : contains material on the philosophy of science.

LAW (Main Library, Donaldson reading room) : contains material relevant to courses on social and political philosophy.

LINGUISTICS (Main Library, south end, and Chandler House): books and periodicals useful for the study of the philosophy of language and semantics. The original collections of Linguistics and Phonetics books and journals are in the Main Library. However, in 2008 the Phonetics & Linguistics department moved to Chandler House, so from 2008 onwards, new Phonetics & Linguistics material is to be found there in the Language & Speech Science library. Some of the existing Phonetics & Linguistic books and journals have also moved to Chandler House; some remain in the Main Library, south end collection, but no new stock will be added to this collection.

PSYCHOLOGY (Science Library: DMS Watson Building, first floor) : books and periodicals relevant to the philosophy of mind and perception, and to the philosophy of psychology.

Recent print issues of PHILOSOPHY PERIODICALS are shelved in the Main Library immediately adjacent to the Philosophy book collection. Periodicals are usually available for loan, although this may be restricted to overnight access. Back issues are held in Stores and may be requested using a Stores Request Form. However, many Philosophy journal articles from both recent and back issues are available electronically and this can be the most convenient way to access them. For electronic journals, see below.

Periodicals in other subjects are shelved close to the respective book collections.

A general collection of arts and humanities titles is available in the HUMANITIES PERIODICALS section on the upper level of the Main Library. (This collection was known as ARTS PERIODICALS up to September 2007.)

Top of the pageTop of page

Electronic collections

Electronic sources

The two primary types of electronic resources available are:

  • tools for carrying out literature searches, such as bibliographic databases (indexes and abstracts) which help you to find book titles and articles in periodicals
  • full text resources, such as electronic journals, electronic books or database collections of full text materials

Material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL: you will usually need your user ID/password for computing services in order to gain access to them. Most of our electronic resources (exception: some e-journals) are available within our electronic gateway, Metalib. To use e-resources from home, enter Metalib from UCL Library Services home page, and login. A leaflet on Metalib's facilities is available in print and electronically.

Indexes and Abstracts
Among the bibliographic indexes which the Library offers are:

There are many other databases that may be useful to you. Click here for a complete list of the databases available at UCL.

As well as general encyclopaedias and text books, the Library offers:

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 Philosophy is the range of titles available in JSTOR - an electronic archive of selected journals from their start date but excluding recent issues, e.g. Philosophical Review 1892-2003. You can search subject subsets, e.g. Classical Studies, Language & Literature, Philosophy.

Exam papers
Copies of College examination papers for undergraduate courses (from 1997 onwards) are available on the web at

Other internet resources : For links to other web-based material for Philosophy, see Intute Arts & Humanities section.

Top of the pageTop of page

Other libraries

The University of London Library (at the Senate House in Malet Street) has a strong collection in Philosophy, and is especially strong in periodicals holdings. Any registered member of UCL can join the library and borrow from there. There are also extensive electronic resources, some available remotely and some on-site only.

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

Top of the pageTop of page

Contact details

If you have any problems using the Library, please come to the Enquiry Desk, or contact the Subject Librarian for Philosophy:

Sarah Burn
E-mail s.burn@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: internal: 32964; external: 020 7679 2964

Top of the pageTop of page

Last modified 28 October 2008

University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999-