Library Services


Key partnerships

UCL Library Services is one of the principal academic research libraries in the United Kingdom. As such, it has partnerships with a number of key regional, national and international library bodies.


The key role of these partnerships is to improve services for library users.

The key partnerships are:

Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)

CERL logo

The CERL website offers guidance on the services and facilities which the Consortium has to offer. CERL concentrates on developments in the area of historical bibliography, the handpress book database which covers European printing of the hand-press period (c. 1455-1830), and manuscript studies.


DART-Europe logo

DART-Europe is a partnership of European consortia and research libraries who are working together to improve access to research theses across institutional and national borders.

DART-Europe has created a Portal for European theses. Metadata from electronic theses residing in institutional or consortial repositories is harvested and made searchable through the Portal, which offers a single interface for the discovery and retrieval of European research theses.

The work of DART-Europe is endorsed by LIBER as part of the work of the LIBER Access Division.

LIBER (Ligue Internationale des Bibliotheques Europeennes de Recherche)

LIBER logo

LIBER is UCL's main European partner in the world of academic research libraries.

LIBER represents and promotes the interests of research libraries in Europe. The general aim of LIBER is to assist research libraries in Europe to become a functional network across national boundaries in order to ensure the preservation of the European cultural heritage, to improve access to collections in European research libraries, and to provide more efficient information services in Europe.

The professional work of LIBER is carried out by four professional Divisions. LIBER's aim is to develop these Divisions into European bodies that are able to develop policies, promote library co-operation, and represent the interests of European research libraries in their particular fields. The four Professional Divisions are:

  • Access
  • Collection Development
  • Preservation
  • Library Management and Administration

LIBER is thus positioning itself as a dynamic European organisation, which keeps the library user and the researcher at the centre of its thought.

M25 Consortium of Higher Education Libraries

M25 logo

The M25 Consortium of Higher Education libraries is a major provider of support services, mainly for teaching and learning, but also for research, in the London region.

Search25 helps you discover library resources across London and the South East. You can also see where the libraries are and find out how to visit them.

AIM25 is a major project to provide electronic access to collection level descriptions of the archives of over 90 higher education institutions and learned societies within the greater London area.

RLUK (Research Libraries UK)

RLUK logo

RLUK is the principal partnership for UCL Library Services in terms of UCL's support for research.

RLUK consists of 27 partner libraries, who have come together to improve facilities for researchers in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. One of RLUK's main achievements is the construction of Copac. Copac provides FREE access to the merged online catalogues of 23 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland PLUS the British Library. Copac is thus a major tool for those undertaking research, especially in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL)


SCONUL speaks on behalf of all Higher Education libraries, to Government, to Funding Bodies, to Research Councils, and to the wider community [Latest News]

For the benefit of our libraries and their users, SCONUL aims:

  • to promote the sharing and development of good practice
  • to influence policy makers and encourage debate
  • to raise the profile of higher education and national libraries

SCONUL operates various co-operative schemes to help users of one library make occasional use of another:

  • SCONUL operates various cooperative schemes to help users of one library make occasional use of another.
  • SCONUL's Vacation Access Scheme allows undergraduate students and postgraduate students following taught courses at UK colleges of higher education or UK or Irish universities to be granted reference use of other higher education libraries free of charge during the vacations of the host institution.

SPARC Europe

SPARC Europe logo

SPARC Europe is an alliance of European research libraries, library organizations, and research institutions. UCL is a member of SPARC Europe.

SPARC Europe advocates change in the scholarly communications market, supports competition, and encourages new publishing models (in particular, open access models) that better serve the international researcher community.

Several national organizations and institutions in Europe sponsor SPARC Europe, including: the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK; the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) of the UK and Ireland; and UKB, the Netherlands Cooperative of Research Libraries, in collaboration with IWI, the SURF Foundation program for innovation in scientific information supply. LIBER also participates in SPARC Europe.

SPARC Europe collaborates with the international SPARC organization based in Washington, DC, but it develops Europe-focused initiatives under the direction of a European managing board and the SPARC Europe Director. Membership of SPARC Europe is open to national and academic libraries, library organizations and research institutions in the region.