Senate House Libraries, University of London

Contact details

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Senate House Libraries, University of London

About the library

Senate House Libraries at the University of London consists of Senate House Library and those libraries located within the various Institutes of the School of Advanced Study. Together the libraries hold approximately 3 million volumes. Within Library Hub Discover you can search the following catalogues:

  • Senate House Library: the Library is one of the largest UK academic libraries focused on the arts, humanities and social sciences. It also holds significant collections in the history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine.

The library collections of the following institutes are also searchable in Discover as part of the Senate House Library catalogue, as their holdings are physically integrated:

  • Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library: holds materials for researching the Commonwealth as a whole and its member states, including history, politics and international relations and other subjects such as agriculture, education, the environment and social questions.
  • Germanic Studies Library: holds materials in the fields of Germanic languages, literature, culture and philosophy, and is distinguished by the strength of its interdisciplinary and international outlook.
  • Institute for the Study of the Americas Library: holds Latin American materials with a particular focus on humanities and social sciences.
  • Heythrop Library: comprises over 250,000 volumes of books and bound volumes of periodicals and is widely regarded as one of the finest collections of theology and philosophy in the UK. The Library was previously part of Heythrop College, but since the closure of the College has been integrated into the Senate House Library collection.

The Bibliographical Society Library was previously housed in Senate House Library, and could be searched as part of their collections. However it has now moved to the The Albert Sloman Library at the University of Essex. In due course we hope it will be searchable through Discover as part of the University of Essex's collections.

The following Institutes are members of the School of Advanced Study, and can be searched separately through Discover as their collections are not physically integrated with those of Senate House Library:

  • Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library: a valuable national and international resource for legal research. The collections focus on common law, civil law and Roman-Dutch law systems throughout the world and include material in western European languages for all jurisdictions for comparative and general reference purposes.
  • Institute of Classical Studies Library: holds the joint libraries of the Hellenic and Roman Societies and provides materials for all aspects of classical studies research.
  • Institute of Historical Research Library: the core of the library is a comprehensive collection of the chief printed primary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles and Western Europe, their colonial expansion, the subsequent history of North and South America, international relations and war.
  • Warburg Institute Library: the aim of the Warburg Institute Library is not to cover any one discipline exhaustively but to bring as much and as diverse information as possible to bear on specific problems. The holdings are classified in four sections: social and political history; religion, history of science and philosophy; literature, books, libraries and education; and history of art.
  • Wallace Collection (associate members of the School): holds material that reflects the strengths of the museum's collections.

The main University of London libraries catalogue is available online.

Senate House Library also contributes to the Archives Hub. To browse descriptions of their archive materials, visit their Archives Hub information page.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? Yes.

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 Senate House Library's records in Library Hub Discover here.

Browse all of the University of London Senate House Libraries' records together in Library Hub Discover here.