Institute of Archaeology


Archaeology library FAQs

The Q&A below provide you with easily accessible information about the changes we’ve made to services, space and facilities. We’re still here to help you

Users of the library can familiarise themselves with general library resources and collections and make the most of all our services and facilities, with our self-guided tour (created before the COVID-19 pandemic).

Service availability

Essential information on our services can be found in the Library Essentials guide and across our website. Please note that we may have to make changes to our services at short notice due to restrictions required by the UK Government or UCL. 

Current Services

The following services are available:

Using the Institute of Archaeology Library in term 3, 2020-2021

What will the opening hours be?
The Archaeology Library opening hours are:
Monday - Friday: 09:30 - 21:00
Saturday: 11:00 - 18:00
Archaeology Library Click and Collect

Books can be requested from a number of sites via our Click and Collect service, which is available to a wider range of user groups. Please see our Membership information pages for details of eligibility for our services.

Archaeology Library Scan and Send Service

If you cannot come on-site to collect books, please use our Scan and Send service, which complements the Click and Collect service. This allows UCL students and staff to request copies of journal articles and book chapters to be scanned and emailed to them directly.

How can I return books?

Please return your books to the Archaeology Library as normal. This helps us to ensure that they are made available as quickly as possible for other Library users. If you are having difficulties returning the Library items, please email us: lib-archaeology@ucl.ac.uk

Can I return my books by post?

Yes. Please send them to the library you borrowed them from. See our web pages for a list of the Library sites and their contact details.

The book will remain your responsibility until it has been received at the library, so it is a good idea to send them by recorded delivery.

Can I still borrow books?

All our material is borrowable as normal or through Click and Collect Service.

Can I still borrow books from the Issue Desk and Teaching Collection?

Issue Desk books and Teaching collection are borrowable as normal.  

Can I borrow a laptop?

Laptop loans are now available for use by students.

Can I use the library MFDs?

Yes. Further information is available here:


Can I borrow phone chargers and staplers from the Issue Desk as before?

We are able to loan out shared equipment, including staplers, phone chargers (iPhone & Samsung)  and headphones.

How can I communicate with the Library?

You can email us at lib-archaeology@ucl.ac.uk

Our chat service is available Monday - Friday, 12:00 - 19:00.

General Library Services loans and Procedures

Where can I get information on UCL Libraries?

We are no longer able to provide paper leaflets, so please consult our website for information:


Are books still being recalled and are fines being charged?

You can recall one week and standard loan books by signing into Explore.

Then click the "Click and Collect" link found in the "Request options" section.

Catalogue screenshot place a request
How long will I have to wait?

The person with the book will receive an email asking them to return it. You will join a queue of borrowers waiting for the book. Renewals will be blocked while borrowers are waiting for the book, and every time a copy is returned you will move forward in the queue until your request has been fulfilled.

Normal loan periods and fines for overdue items are:

Loan typeLoan periodFine for overdue item
Standard8 weeks20p per day
2 week2 weeks20p per day
1 week7 days30p per day
3 day (rolling)Due at 23:59 on the third day. Due at 23:59 on Monday if borrowed on Wednesday or Thursday.50p per day
1 day (short loan)Due at 10:00 the next day. Due at 10:00 on Monday if borrowed on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.50p per hour
3 hour (short loan)Due at 10:00 next day if borrowed after 15:00. Due at 10:00 on Monday if borrowed after 15:00 on Friday or on Saturday or Sunday.50p per hour
ReferenceNOT FOR LOAN 
How many books can I borrow?
UserItems allowed
Masters degree20
PhD writing-up30
NHS members20
London Mathematical Society borrowers10
SOAS external borrowers3
Other external borrowers5


How can I get access to a paper journal in the IOA Library?

Please use the Scan and Send service. Please note the service is currently only available for UCL Students and Staff.

How can I book a study space? What spaces are available? For how long?

Most of our libraries are open for UCL students and staff and NHS members. Please check individual Opening Hours. If you wish to use a study space this will need to be booked before visiting each library - please see our Bookable Study Spaces Help webpage for further details. NHS members should visit our separate NHS seat booking page. You must check in within 30 minutes of the start time of your booking. If you do not check in your booking will be released for other students or staff to use.

Can I get books from Stores?

Books can be requested from a number of sites via our Click and Collect service, which is available to a wider range of user groups. Please see our Membership information pages for details of eligibility for our services.

Can I use other UCL Libraries?


How can I get to materials if I need to shield at any time in the future?

If you are unable to access the UCL campus to collect books that have been requested, for example, if you are self-isolating, you can arrange for another UCL Library member to collect them on your behalf. Please email lib-accessibility@ucl.ac.uk to arrange this.

How can I renew my loans?

All borrowed books are now automatically renewed if they have a loan period of one week or longer unless they have been requested by another user. Standard (eight-week) loan books can be recalled if they are requested by another user and you will be given one week to return them to us.

Short loan items (items with a loan period of less than one week) must be returned at the end of their loan period as usual.

Keeping Safe

How is the library working to keep customers safe?

We are committed to keeping all staff and customers safe. We have introduced a range of measures including cleaning and provision of hand sanitiser and wipes. Please follow the signs and rules when visiting our library site, and wear a face-covering or mask at all times on campus. Please see UCL’s Keeping Safe on Campus pages for more information.

Do I have to wear a mask in the IOA Library?

Yes. You do need to wear a mask in the library, even while using your study space. If you forget your mask, we have spare disposal ones for your convenience. If you are not able to wear a face covering, please use the Government's exemption badge, an exemption card from TFL or a Sunflower lanyard.

Visitors to the Library

Can I use the library if I’m a reference user, a member of the public, from another university or visiting from overseas?

UCL students and staff are eligible to use and borrow books from the various UCL libraries, using your UCL ID card.
Qualifying external users must complete an online registration form before visiting. Please visit our website for further information: 


Can I use the click and collect service if I have an alumnus or University of London borrowing card?

Yes. You can use the click and collect service

Can I renew my library membership at the IOA Library?

The walk-in service is now open as well as online service: