British Library of Political and Economic Science

Contact details

Website: Email: Telephone: +44 (0)20 79557229

LSE Library

About the library

LSE Library was founded in 1896 as the British Library of Political and Economic Science. It is the major international library of the social sciences and is one of the five National Research Libraries recognised by HEFCE in England. The collections have been given Designated status by the Arts Council England for being of outstanding national and international importance and since 2013 it has held The Women’s Library, the most extensive collection on women's history in the UK.

The Library’s collections cover the social sciences in the widest sense, with particular strength in economics, sociology, political science and social, economic and international history. There are rich international collections of government publications and a wealth of statistical materials, as well as important collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books. The majority of collections are on open access in one site, the Lionel Robbins Building, with some lower usage material held in store. The library has a Main Collection, plus a Course Collection which contains multiple copies of core texts.

The local library catalogue is available online.

LSE Library Archives and Special Collections also contributes to the Archives Hub. To browse descriptions of their archive materials, visit their Archives Hub information page.

British Library inter-library loan codes

Library code


Policy code


For an explanation of these codes, and for more information on arranging inter-library loans, see the inter-library loans page on the British Library website.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? No.

Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? Yes - subject to the library's local lending policy. See their website for details. You must request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff for advice on ordering an item.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - see the library's website for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance, to ensure that they can accommodate you and that the material you need will be available.


Browse all of British Library of Political and Economic Science records in Library Hub Discover here.