Institute of Archaeology


Institute of Archaeology Library

The UCL Institute of Archaeology Library was founded in 1937 to support teaching and research at the new Institute of Archaeology.

Entry to the library from September 2022

The main door to the Institute of Archaeology building is locked and not accessible. All UCL staff, students, and visitors with an ID or library card should use the cardax reader to the right of the main door to the building to enter and come up to the library on the 5th floor as usual.

All visitors without a library card should preferably arrange a date and time for your visit in advance by emailing us on lib-archaeology@ucl.ac.uk or visiting our membership pages. On arrival, please telephone the library on 020 7679 4788 and library staff will let you in.

Service availability

The Institute Library is now part of UCL Library Services. Related collections of interest are to be found in the Main Library (Ancient History, Jewish Studies, Latin American History, History and Classics) and in the DMS Watson (Science Library) (Anthropology, History of Science and Geography).

Essential information on our services can be found in the Library Essentials guide and on our website. Please see the Library FAQs for details.

Archaeology Library Self-guided tour
Archaeology Library Help Point


Library Services

The Institute of Archaeology Library contains approximately 70,000 books, and nearly 800 current periodicals (journals). Our holdings are strong in all aspects of archaeological theory, prehistoric Britain and Europe, the archaeology of Western Asia (Ancient Near East), Classical Greece and Rome, Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Environmental archaeology, forensic anthropology, ancient technology, the conservation of artefacts and museum and heritage studies are very well represented. Specialist materials relating to the archaeology of London are also extensive. 

New material, in both paper and electronic formats, is constantly being purchased for the Institute Library. Monthly accessions lists of these new materials are available through the Ancient World Studies/Archaeology blog.

A comprehensive range of videos, DVDs, CD-ROMS, online databases and electronic resources, including e-journals, is also available and for current students, on-line reading lists facilitate access to key readings in digital format for a growing number of courses.

The Institute Library is open access and current material is readily available. The loan periods of books vary according to their demand for teaching and research. Some materials, notably periodicals, are for reference use only. Information on these loan statuses is available from the borrowing page on the UCL Library Services website.

Older and less frequently used materials may be consulted through UCL Library Services' Stores service. For current staff and students, items which are not held in any of the UCL libraries can be requested through our interlending and document supply facility and suggestions for purchasing can be made. 

Professional library staff, subject specialists in archaeology, are available for consultation and to answer subject and library-related enquiries. 

A library catalogue with a large screen and large font keyboard and priority PC for disabled use (current UCL staff and students only) are also available. A portable induction loop is available from the Issue Desk on request.

Other archaeology collections and resources in UCL and London

Within UCL

UCL holds a number of museums, archives and library collections useful for the study of archaeology. These resources are open to the public, but some are by appointment in advance only and visitors are advised to consult the web pages below before visiting.

In London

A wide range of libraries, archives and museums are available in London. For details of materials, access arrangements and opening hours, please click the links below.

Contact Us

The UCL Institute of Archaeology Library welcomes queries about its collections and services.  

  • Address: The UCL Institute of Archaeology Library, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY
  • Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 4788
  • Email: lib-archaeology@ucl.ac.uk

Subject specialists

Other contact details within UCL Library Services

Useful links