Library Services


Special Collections at UCL Language & Speech Science Library

How to find and access the Language & Speech Science Library's Special Collections. We have the (NICeST) Library Test Collection, Historical Collection and dissertations.

UCL LaSS (NICeST) Library Test Collection

UCL's Language & Speech Science Library holds a unique collection of approximately 750 tests for the assessment of speech and language development and disorders. Most of these are held on open access in cabinets at the rear of the Library reading room, but some psychology tests, such as the Wechsler scales and the British Ability Scales, are held at the Library Desk on restricted access. All tests can only be used by either qualified clinicians, or students under strict clinical supervision, and for this reason their use is restricted to students and staff of UCL Language Sciences, and members of the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists. (RCSLT members must pay an annual fee to borrow any items from the Library).

Tests come in various shapes and sizes. Some are simple checklists of words, others are kits containing toys and games for children, or pictures and objects for word recognition. As well as diagnostic tests, the collection contains other therapy resource materials which are too bulky to fit on the Library's bookshelves.

Tests are usually known by their acronym, e.g. the TROG (Test for the Reception of Grammar). They can be found by looking them up on Explore in the same way as books, and are arranged in the cabinet by Dewey decimal classmark followed by the acronym, e.g. 401.93 TROG.

Most of the tests are for use in the Library only, but may be used in placements, clinics and classes, or borrowed by special arrangement. Where the  Library holds more than 1 copy of a test, the extra copies may be borrowed for up to 1 week. Tests are very expensive and parts are difficult to replace, so if you do borrow any of them, be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that all the parts are returned intact. Contents checklists are provided for this purpose. Before borrowing any tests, students must also sign a form agreeing to the terms and conditions for using these materials.

UCL LaSS Library's Historical Collection

Note: The Historical Collection has now been placed in offsite storage.
Please see the UCL Library Services' Stores service to find out how to request items from Stores.

Due to the uniqueness of its collections, the UCL Language & Speech Science library has also become established as the National Information Centre for Speech-language Therapy (NICeST). Since the late 1990s, librarians and academic staff have been collecting historical material relating to speech and language, with a view to creating the UK's first historical collection in this relatively new subject area. Contacts were made with pioneering speech therapists who were entering retirement, such as Margaret Greene and Margaret Edwards, who subsequently donated their personal collections of books and pamphlets to the Library. Greene, co-author with Lesley Mathieson of the classic textbook The Voice & its Disorders (now in its 6th edition and still a core text) wrote a note with her donation, expressing her "unexpected bereavement pang at the departure of my much loved and treasured books", but that she was "very glad they have such a satisfactory and useful permanent home" at UCL. Many more books were collected from other libraries, such as the British Library's Document Supply Centre and the Friends of the Children of Great Ormond Street. The Collection was catalogued in 2002 with a grant from the British Library and Wellcome Trust's Collections in the History of Medicine project, and continues to expand. It now comprises over 1500 items, including books, conference proceedings, pamphlets and offprints, and one 1963 vinyl LP of child speech. There is a whole box file of obscure articles by Margaret Greene, and another for Fritz Grewel. Other treasures which have been unearthed in the Collection include a 1905 edition of Helen Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life; James Hunt's A treatise on the Cure of Stammering from 1857; and an 1880 edition of Gray's Anatomy.

Items in the Historical Collection are identified on the UCL Library catalogue by the location code "HIST.COLL", followed by the first 3 letters of the author's name (or an acronym, in the case of conference proceedings), and are for use in the Library only. Enquiries regarding these valuable resources are welcomed by the LaSS Librarian.


The LaSS Library's Student Project Collection

Note: From 2008, BSc Speech Science dissertations are only available online, as PDF files, accessible to UCL members only via the Psychology & Language Sciences web pages.

The UCL Language & Speech Science Library keeps final year MSc and BSc dissertations (or "projects") by Language Sciences (formerly Human Communication Science and Phonetics & Linguistics) students. Those from the last 5 years are kept behind the Library Desk, but the older ones (as far back as 1984) are held in offsite storage and can be requested and delivered to the library within 1-2 working days. Please see the UCL Library Services' Stores pages for information on how to request items form Stores. A Thesis Declaration Form must be signed for every project you wish to consult, and projects must not be removed from the library.

The collection consists of projects from the following programmes:

  • BSc Speech Communication
  • BSc Speech Science (online only from 2008) 
  • MSc Human Communication (HC) - from 2007, this has been renamed MSc Neuroscience, Language & Communication (NLC).
  • MSc Speech & Hearing Sciences (SHS)
  • MSc Speech & Language Pathology & Therapy (SLPT) In 2003, this became MSc Speech & Language Sciences (SLS)

There is also a small collection of doctoral theses written by Language Sciences staff and MPhil/ PhD students. Projects by intercalating medical students are located with the BSc projects.

Please note that we do not currently hold dissertations for BA or MA Linguistics, Phonology, Syntax or Pragmatics; please contact Stefanie Anyadi for information about these.

How to find a project

Projects can be found using any of the following search options on the UCL Library catalogue, Explore.

Searching by subject

To search for projects by subject, use the Quick Search option on Explore and type in a word or two to describe your subject, followed by the word PROJECT*, e.g. DYSLEX* PROJECT*. In this example, your search would retrieve all student projects with words beginning Dyslex (e.g., Dyslexia, Dyslexic, Dyslexics etc) in the title or subject headings. Using * after the beginning of a word ensures that you find all the variant word endings.

Searching by student name

The student who has written the project is always listed on the catalogue as the author, so you can search for a project by a particular student using the List of Authors option on Explore. Type in the student's surname followed by a comma and initial or first name, e.g. Horniblow, D.

Searching by supervisor

The project's supervisor, where known, is also listed in the Author index, so you can look up all the projects supervised by a member of staff in exactly the same way you would search for an author. Bear in mind, however, that this will retrieve any books or other items that person may have written, as well as projects they have supervised.

Retrieving your projects

When you have found the details of any projects you wish to consult:

  • if it is within the last 5 years, come to the Library Desk and fill out a Thesis Declaration form for each one. Library staff can retrieve these for you, for use in the Library only.
  • for any older ones in Store, fill out an online Store Request Form on the Library Catalogue. If you select Language & Speech Science as the pickup location, it will be delivered to the library for you within 2 working days.