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Modern languages

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Book collections

The principal collections for Modern Languages: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romance, German, Germanic and Scandinavian languages (including Faroese), are located in the North end of the Main Library, while the Dutch collection is located on the 2nd floor of the Main library at the end of the History corridor.

The library catalogue is the principal tool to find books, journals and other materials (either in print or in electronic format) held in UCL libraries. On the catalogue, you will find the details with the details of the location of the materials you are looking for: library site, collection and shelfmark.

You will need shelfmark to locate the books on the shelf, so it is important that you remember to write it down (or take a picture). For more help watch Where's that book? video that shows you how to find books using the catalogue.

Not all materials are available on the open shelves: materials marked STORE have to be requested in advance. To request Store materials log into your library account or use the store request form.

You can find more information about Stores Services in the General resources section at the bottom of this page.

Other Collections you are likely to need are:

Main library
  • ART includes FILM STUDIES
  • HISTORY: for individual European countries' political, social and economic history and the Latin American History collection for extensive coverage of Latin American social, political and economic history.
  • LITERATURE: includes books on literary topics not specific to any one language, literary theory, literature translated into English,
  • PHILOSOPHY: books and periodicals on European philosophy.
  • TRANSLATION STUDIES: for materials on translation theory, literary translation and specialised translation.
Science library:
  • ANTHROPOLOGY materials relating to Spanish and Latin American cultural studies
  • GEOGRAPHY includes a good collection on French social history.
Other UCL libraries

The Language & Speech Science (LASS) Library holds books and periodicals on the theory and practice of language study. 

School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) library: includes major holdings of the history and literature of East Germany and other German-speaking areas, Finland and the Baltic region.

Journals:

Print Journals/periodicals are usually Reference only; recent issues are available on the open shelves while older volumes are kept at STORE and need to be ordered in advance via our Stores service.

German, Romance languages and Scandinavian Periodicals are located in the Main library, 1st Floor, North side.

The Humanities Periodicals are located in the Main Library, 1st Floor, South side.

Dutch periodicals are located in the Dutch room in the Main library, 2nd Floor, South side

Online resources: E-books, e-journals and databases

Online resources can be accessed remotely by registered members of UCL holding a UCL userid and password.  

The best  way to find a title (e-book or e-journal) is to use the the library catalogue.

E-books & e-journals

You can browse our e-book collections and e-journal collections. E-journals relevant for languages and literature can be found on these platform: JSTOR, Project Muse and Cambridge Journals, Online Continental Europe Database (ProQuest) and Oxford Journals.

For comprehensive research use a specialist database: you can find  language specific online resources and databases under the relevant language section below.

For more help in how to use online resources visit the Electronic Resources or Databases library pages.

AV material - Films

The library subscribes to two video streaming services: Kanopy whose materials can be found searching the Library catalogue and BoB National (Box of Broadcasts) a searchable database of TV and Radio Programmes (not on the catalogue)

The library also holds a DVDs collection; DVDs can be borrowed and watched at home or in the library, use the library catalogue search for DVDs.

Additionally The Self-access Centre at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE) offers streaming access to off-air record­ings (films, doc­u­men­taries, lec­tures) particular relevant for languages.

Dutch e-collections

Subscribed

the library subscribes to a number of databases and full text resources which are specific or particularly relevant for Dutch Studies, you can access these databases remotely by logging in with your UCL userid and password. View the list of resources

Freely available Internet resources

the resources listed below are freely available online, you might find some of them useful:

French e-collections

Subscribed

The library subscribes to a number of databases and full text resources which are specific or particularly relevant for French Studies, you can access these databases remotely by logging in with your UCL userid and password. View the list of resources

Freely available Internet resources

the resources listed below are freely available online, you might find some of them useful:

  • Gallica the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, this vitural library contains over 3 millions digitised documents including texts, images and recordings
  • Larousse searchable online encyclopedia and dictionary.
  • LITAF : Littérature Africaine Francophone a searchable database of Sub-Saharan literature.
  • French Studies Web provides links to scholarly web resources relevant to French and Frencophone studies
German e-collections

Subscribed

The library subscribes to a number of databases and full text resources which are specific or particularly relevant for German Studies you can access these databases remotely by logging in with your UCL userid and password. View the list of resources

Freely available Internet resources

  • German Studies web list of scholarly resouces in German Studies
  • Canoonet Online dictionaries with detailed grammar sections designed to help learners of German
  • Vorleser a collection of downloadable popular stories read in the German language
  • Das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (DWDS) another online dictionary in which definitions of words give the historical context to the development of each word within that time period. This etymology may be helpful to linguists and historians.
  • Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek Kultur und Wissen a searchable portal for  digitised materials from German libraries, archives, universities and  cultural instituttion
  • BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) one of the largest search engines for academic web resources, over 60% of its indexed records are available full text and Open Access
Italian e-collections

Subscribed

The library subscribes to a number of databases and full text resources which are specific or particularly relevant for Italian Studies, you can access these databases remotely by logging in with your UCL userid and password. View the list of resources

Freely available Internet resources

  • Digital Dante is a venue for research and ideas on Dante that aims to stimulate new perspectives and new approaches to Dante Studies via interactive use of sounds, images and videos. Parallel to the original text there are two translations in English of the Comedy,
  • Dante Society of America The Society sponsors sessions on Dante at various scholarly gatherings during the academic year, publishes an electronic journal of critical notes: EBDSA
  • Giovanni Pascoli Archive contains 60,000 digitized documents, which includes manuscripts, correspondence and photos for a total of 150,000 images. The archive is fully searchable online.
  • Enciclopedia Treccani searchable online dictionary and encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia is divided in 5 subjects, which includes the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Italian Studies web list of scholarly resources in Italian Studies
  • Biblioteca Italiana offers access to a collection of digitised texts which span from the Middle Ages to the 18th Century selected to represent Italian literary history
Scandinavian e-collections

Subscribed

The library subscribes to a number of databases and full text resources which are specific or particularly relevant for Scandinavian Studies, you can access these databases remotely by logging in with your UCL userid and password. View the list of resources

Freely available Internet resources

  • Project Runeberg proivdes free electronic editions of old books from Sweden and the Nordic countries, one of the largest Nordic literature site on the web.
  • NORA (Norwegian Open Research Archives) searchable catalogue of materials held in open access institutional repositories in Norway. It covers all areas of the social sciences, sciences, arts and humanities with a special emphasis upon Norwegian and Scandinavian politics, economics, history and society.
  • Dansk Biografisk Lexikon a digital facsimile of the 19 volumes published between 1887 and 1905. The Dansk biografisk Lexikon gives biographical summaries of Danish figures of cultural significance.
  • Timarit.is this digital library comprise over a thousand of journals and national newspapers titles (historical and current titles). The database was created as collaborative project between the National Libraries of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Island. On some, recent publications there might be an embargo of 2-4 years, otherwise this is a very useful resouce to use to research publications which might be unavailable outside their countries.
Spanish & Portuguese e-collections

Subscribed

The library subscribes to a number of databases and full text resources which are specific or particularly relevant for Spanish, Portuguese  and Latin American studies, you can access these databases remotely by logging in with your UCL userid and password. View the list of resources

Freely available Internet resources

General Resources

To locate material not held by UCL you can use COPAC: an online catalogue with records of the holdings of 26 of the top research libraries in the country.

Libraries that focus on particular languages or subjects:

Dutch, German & Italian
  • Warburg Institute has strong collections in Art, History of Art (especially German, Italian and Dutch). Italian literature (from Dante to the 17th cent.). German and Italian Historiography (from antiquity to the present) and Renaissance studies.
  • German Historical Institute Library the collections focus on German history from the Middle Ages to the present, with special emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries and particularly on Germany between 1933 and 1945, the development of the two German states and German unification after 1989.
  • The Goethe Institut Library holds a large collection of German books, magazines, audiobooks, German movies and documentaries.
French
  • La Médiathèque, part of the Institute Français in London, is one of the largest French libraries in the UK its collections include over 5000 French DVDs and CDs as well as French books (including e-books) magazines and newspapers.
Italian
Spanish, Portuguese
  • The Institute of Latin American Studies (located in Senate House) collects materials covering Latin America and the Caribbean: all the territories of Central and South America as well as the islands of the Caribbean (including the English-, Dutch- and French-speaking communities), the subjects covered are: history, politics, economics, anthropology, sociology, gender studies with an emphasis on literature, films and documentaries. Much of the material is unique and has been sourced directly from the countries of origin, consequently a large proportion of materials is in Spanish, Portuguese and French.
  • The Library at the Instituto Cervantes holds a good collection of books, DVDs, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines. Members of the library also have remote access to online resources.
  • The Maugham Library at King's College London has a strong collection of Spanish and Latin American materials. The collection includes the Canning House's collection which was transferred to King's in 2012. The Canning House Library collection was one of the largest collections in the UK on Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries that at the time was available to the general public. The collection covers Latin American literature, film, the visual arts, music, archaeology, the cultures of Latin America's indigenous people, history, politics and geography.

Please remember to check, access restrictions, with the library you intend to visit before turning up.

You can find more information about using other libraries on the other libraries pages.

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Library Services offers training and support to all staff and students.

For one to one training sessions on how to use online subject specific databases or using software to manage references and citations, do get in touch with me directly using the contact details on the right.

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Please visit the Research Support pages to find out how the library can help you with your research. 

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