The Institute of Historical Research welcomes academics, researchers and postgraduate students from around the world. Our HEFCE funding enables us to give free access to university staff and postgraduate students. We have various rates for other categories of researcher.

Categories of membership



Additional documentation needed

Current university staff and fellows
Emeritus professors
Postgraduate students


  • proof of current university status

  • proof of address

Undergraduate students

Undergraduates with a special need to use the library may be admitted with an email or letter of recommendation addressed to the IHR Librarian.

  • proof of current university status

  • proof of address

  • copy of letter of recommendation or  acknowledgement from a member of library staff

Research staff of museums, libraries, galleries etc

Free by arrangement. Please contact us in advance if you are visiting for the first time.

  • proof of address

  • proof of current staff status

Private researchers

£47 per year or £6 per day*


  • proof of address

Retired academics

£47 per year or £6 per day*


  • proof of address

*membership rates increase at the start of October each year
Special arrangements for completing or enrolling students
PhD students rewriting PhDs with expired university registrationsWe can extend existing membership for duration of correcting period.
  • letter from a supervisor or departmental office which shows expected completion date
People about to begin an MA or PhDWe offer a discretionary free membership for up to 3 months prior to the start of a course.
  • Copy of letter of acceptance on course or a letter/email from the proposed PhD supervisor
People who have just completed a PhDWe can renew existing memberships for up to 3 months from date of award letter.
  • Copy of award letter

How to apply for membership

You will need to bring the following to the reception desk on your first visit.

  • Application form (can be completed at the desk)
  • Proof of current address (passport, driving licence, recent utility bill or equivalent)
  • Proof of academic status where applicable
  • Payment (where applicable). Payment can be made in cash, by cheque (payable to 'University of London') or by debit or credit card (ask for a form at reception).


For membership enquiries contact the IHR reception.