Library Services



Book collections

Geography reading room

The Geography Collection is on the first floor of the Science Library. There are sections on physical geography, human geography and material relating to specific countries. A separate section of 'Quartos' are oversize books shelved at the start of the collection.

The easiest way to find a particular book is to search Explore. The location information in Explore will give you the subject collection and a shelfmark within that collection (for example: Geography H 26 CHU).

Other collections within UCL Libraries may also be very useful for geography-related subjects. Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering collections are in the Science Library and Economics, History (including London History), International Relations, Politics and Public Policy, and Human Rights are held in the Main Library. The Bartlett Library holds planning and architecture material.

Older or lesser-used material marked on Explore with the word Store should be using the Store Request form. Click here for more information about Stores.

For more help, see the Getting Started guide for help on finding books, reading lists and borrowing items.

Journal collections

The majority of journals you may need are available electronically.  Access them via the A-Z list of electronic journals or search for a journal title in Explore. UCL staff and students can access journals off-campus. You will need your UCL user ID and password. There is a small collection of print journals in the Geography reading room.

Electronic resources

We have access to a large number of bibliographic databases at UCL. Search these to find scholarly literature or research on particular topics. Also, some databases provide full-text and other material such as maps, images, data sets, etc. Most of these resources can be accessed off-site, with your UCL user ID and password.


There are a number of useful geography databases that will be useful for you to search for geography-related topics:

  • Geobase covers literature in physical and human geography as well as ecology and development topics;
  • Scopus is a multidisciplinary database covering science, arts and humanities and social science topics;
  • Web of Science is a set of multidisciplinary databases covering science, arts and humanities and social science topics;
  • International Bibliography of Social Science (IBSS) covers social science and related areas;
  • Digimap provides Ordnance Survey maps and geospatial data. There are Environment, Geology, Historic, Marine, Aerial, Lidar, Global and Society Digimap services.

Different databases may suit your particular research topic, such as GeoRef (Geosciences database) or EconLit (Economics database). 

Data resources

Census data can be accessed via the Census Support section within the UK Data Service (also providing access to economic and social science data more generally). The guide to socio-economic data also lists all various data resources that are available at UCL.


UCL has access to both current and historical newspapers. Nexis UK provides access to current and recent national and international newspaper articles. Backfiles of major UK and US newspapers are also available. Look at the list of general databases to find these.

UCL also has access to the Economist and the Financial Times electronically. See below for instructions on how to access these resources.


Other Internet resources

  • ONS (Office for National Statistics) - provides access to a wide range of statistical information about the UK's economy and society;
  • Eldis - Gateway from the Institute of Development Studies. Provides access to documents on development policy and research and profiles of different developing countries;
  • OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) looks at economics and economic policy in different countries. The OECD iLibrary provides access to OECD reports, journals and data;
  • World Bank gives financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the word. Publications and data available such as the annual World Development Report;
  • NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) - main UK agency for funding and managing research in the environmental sciences. Briefing notes and information about environmental research available;
  • IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) - leading international body for the assessment of climate change. The IPCC Assessment Reports are available here;
  • UK Data Service - provides access to data sets for economic and social research.

General Resources

There are many other libraries you may want to visit in the London area - see our information about how to access these libraries. To see if material is held in other libraries nearby, search the multi-library catalogue, Library Hub Discover.

Senate House Library (University of London Library in Malet Street) has some relevant material for geography and Latin American and Caribbean studies especially. UCL students and staff can register and borrow books. Also, in many cases, electronic resources can be accessed off-campus, using your Senate House Library card.

The LSE Library is one of the largest collections in the world devoted to economics and the social sciences. Undergraduates can normally use the library for reference use but there are exceptions- for example, during examination periods. Please check LSE information about access. UCL staff, MPhil and PhD researchers can register with a Sconul Access Band A card to borrow books.
You may wish to visit the British Library. Staff and students can apply directly for reference access. Check the requirements for registering for a reader pass - you will need to bring several forms of ID. The British Library Map Room contains maps from all over the world dating from the 15th Century and is the national map library of Great Britain.

If material you would like to see is not available in libraries nearby, you can request an interlibrary loan.

Library Services offers training and support to all staff and students. If you have queries about how to search for and access material or use our resources, please do ask.

Do get in touch with your subject librarian (details on the right) if you would like to ask about researching geography-related topics or using the resources and databases for geography.

The Library offers a range of Research Support services designed to aid researchers.

Do get in touch with your subject librarian (details on the right) with any questions relating to accessing or using resources for geography-related research.