Library Services


SSEES Library Archives

The SSEES Library holds over 200 archive collections. All of the collections come from individuals or organisations with a connection to the areas studied by the School.

Service updates

For assistance with our archives you can contact us at ssees-library@ucl.ac.uk and we will do our best to help.

For updates and more information about library services and support, please check the UCL Library Services web site.


Access to the majority of archive collections is unrestricted and they can be consulted in the Library without special permission, although we prefer users to make an appointment in advance. A number of collections are accessible only after a formal application and the acceptance of special conditions.

Browse our archive collections»

Arranging an appointment

Sketch of Maglai, Bosnia by Sir Arthur Evans To arrange an archives appointment, contact ssees-library@ucl.ac.uk. Please provide brief details of your research and specify exactly which archive materials you wish to consult. (A detailed description of each collection is available on our website.) We are usually able to accommodate archive visitors between 09:00 and 17:00, Monday to Friday. You are welcome to suggest a date and time for your visit and we will try to meet your preferences wherever possible, but for practical reasons we do not normally accept bookings from more than two archive users on the same day. Please also note that the Library is extremely busy during May as it is the examination period. Unless your visit is particularly urgent you are advised to avoid booking an archives appointment during May.

If you do not already have a UCL library card, you will need to apply for library membership in advance of your visit. For further details, please see our membership webpage, which includes a link to an online application form. If you are not currently connected to a university, you can register for a day ticket as a member of the public. (Access to SSEES archives is free, so you will not be charged the advertised fee if you are consulting archive collections.) You will be asked to upload a digital photograph of yourself, as well as proof of your home address, in order to complete the application. Please submit your application at least a couple of days before your visit, so that library staff will have time to process your membership. On the first day of your visit you will also need to complete and sign an "Access to Archives" form and agree to our standard terms and conditions.

The archives table is located on the second floor of the Library. You may consult up to three boxes / volumes of archive material at the table at any one time, but you can of course request more than three items for your visit. If you would like to prioritise particular items from a collection, please let us know before you arrive.

Archive materials may not be photocopied, but you are welcome to take photos for the purpose of private study. Please ensure the flash on your camera is switched off. Special terms apply to the reproduction of photographs and the photography of documents for publication; further information is available on request. Archive material is not available for loan.

Finding aids

An online guide to the collections is available. All catalogues are available online and these catalogues are linked to the guide. Since many of the collections are very small. i.e. one volume, they are only described at collection level.

Digitised Collections

In 2009, SSEES Library took part in the EU-funded EuropeanaTravel project. SSEES Library's contribution to the project included over 300 volumes of printed accounts of travels in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Russia dating from 1557 through 1860. Over 200 maps were also digitised, the oldest dating back to the 1540s.

Further enquiries

Enquiries can be made to the User Services staff in the Library, e-mail ssees-library@ucl.ac.uk.

This page last modified Friday 01 December 2023.