IHR terms and conditions

The Institute of Historical Research is a unique institution founded in 1921 which seeks:

  • To promote the study of history and an appreciation of the importance of the past among academics and the general public, in London, in Britain and internationally, and to provide institutional support and individual leadership for this broad historical community.
  • To offer a wide range of services which promote and facilitate, excellence in historical research, teaching and scholarship in the UK, by means of its library, seminars, conferences, fellowships, training and publications, both digital and in printed form.
  • To further high quality research into particular aspects of the past by such collective projects as the Victoria County History and the Centre for the History of People, Place and Community.

We hope that the Institute will provide a congenial, hospitable and welcoming environment where historians at all stages in their careers and from all parts of the world can meet formally and informally to exchange ideas and information and bring themselves up to date with current developments in historical scholarship.

In order for us to maintain this unique environment, we expect that all of our members, visitors and friends will comply with this set of guidelines.

1. Introduction

  1. Members, visitors and guests are required to comply with the rules and regulations of the University of London, the School of Advanced Study and the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) currently in force. These regulations are designed to provide an appropriate atmosphere for study and research, to ensure the effective operation of the IHR and the security and safety of its users and the resources which it houses.

  2. Failure to comply may result in the temporary or permanent withdrawal of membership, or revocation of day passes.

  3. In these regulations, the term "member" also includes visitors and guests unless otherwise specified.

2. General regulations

  1. Members may not represent themselves as employees, students or Fellows of the IHR or of the University of London. Membership of the IHR may not be used in full or abbreviated form as a postnominal qualification. Members may not use the address of the IHR as their own on printed stationery, or in communications of any kind.

  2. Members are asked to comply with the direction of officials/staff of the University acting within the scope of their authority.

  3. Behaviour that disrupts and interferes with the orderly functioning of the Institute or disturbs, harasses, or distresses other users or staff will not be tolerated. Members must treat staff and other members with respect. Violent, threatening, abusive, discriminatory or harassing language or conduct of any kind is not allowed.

  4. Members are required to take utmost care of all Institute resources and facilities. Theft of or wilful damage to Institute property, however caused are criminal offences.

  5. Members using headphones should ensure that sound is not audible to others.

  6. Mobile phones should be in silent mode. Phone calls are not permitted in most parts of the Institute but quiet phone calls are permitted on the landings and common room where this doesn't cause disturbance to other users. Skype or similar audible online communication is not permitted within the library areas unless it has been pre-arranged as part of a meeting or event.

  7. Eating and drinking is not permitted in library areas with the exception of bottled water which should be stored away from books and in a sealed container. Catering that has been booked for an event should be kept away from library equipment and materials. 

  8. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the University premises.

3. Access

  1. Except in special circumstances, members and visitors should use the turnstiles to enter and leave the Institute.

  2. If the turnstiles are not operating, members and visitors should be prepared to show their membership card or pass to the receptionist.

  3. Membership cards and day passes are issued for exclusive use personal use. Under no circumstances may a membership card/pass be loaned to another individual.

  4. Passes/cards must be produced or surrendered at the request of any member of Institute staff.

  5. Loss of a pass or membership card must be reported immediately to reception. A charge will usually be made for the replacement of a membership card.

4. Opening hours

See IHR opening hours information here. To enable staff to complete a staggered closing of the building by the advertised closing time some areas need to be vacated up to 15 minutes before closing time and this is displayed on the door. PCs and photocopiers shut down 15 minutes before closing time.

5. Security and safety

  1. Members are responsible for the security of their private property, for which the University does not accept responsibility. 

  2. Members must submit bags and cases for searching at any time at the request of staff.

  3. Members must comply with all emergency procedures including the evacuation of the building in the event of a fire, or for fire drills.

6. Library materials and resources

  1. Library materials may not be removed from the IHR.

  2. Members should treat Library materials and equipment with care and not deface or damage them. Members may be required to meet the cost of replacing or repairing items which they have damaged. 

  3. Members should reshelve books after use.

  4. Members may reserve books for the next day by leaving them with a clearly dated and visible note. They may not store them on empty shelves. Habitual reservation of volumes away from their locations is not permitted.

  5. Digital photography, photocopying and scanning is permitted providing it complies with copyright regulations and licences, does not disturb other users and care is taken not to damage the material. All copying is at the discretion of the library staff, who may restrict the copying of any item. Public copiers are switched off 15 minutes before closing time.

7. Reading room guidelines

We hope you find using the library productive. The library welcomes considerate readers. To make the reading rooms a pleasant and safe working environment and to preserve the collections, we ask that users comply with the following:

  1. No eating or drinking in library areas, except bottled water.

  2. Please keep your phone/computer in silent mode. Phone calls are only permitted on landings.

  3. When using headphones, please make sure the sound is not audible to others.

  4. Unless a room has been booked, rooms are for silent study only. Please keep the door open to make the space welcoming for other users.

  5. Library materials may not be removed from the IHR. Please treat library materials and equipment with care. Book rests and weights are available from the enquiries office. Do not mark or annotate any library materials.

  6. Please reshelve books after use. If you wish to reserve items for the following day reservation slips are available.

  7. You can use your own cameras or copying equipment. Please ensure that you comply with copyright and licencing regulations.

  8. Library PCs are intended for the pursuit of historical research only.

  9. The fire alarm is tested on Thursdays at 9:30am. If the alarm sounds at other times you must evacuate immediately, and follow staff instructions.

  10. Reading rooms close 10 minutes before the final closure time.

8. Use of rooms

  1. Meetings may only be held in IHR rooms by prior arrangement.

  2. Meetings should not be moved to rooms other than that originally booked except by arrangement.

  3. Members who rearrange furniture in a room must return it to its original state before leaving.

  4. Members may not store private property in IHR rooms, nor may they reserve desks.

9. Other facilities

  1. PCs designated for the use of members and students are intended solely for the pursuit of historical research. The downloading of, or use of Institute hardware to access illicit, degrading or immoral material is strictly forbidden. Members are reminded that the use of these PCs is monitored.

  2. Documents should not be stored on the public PCs and any files saved on them are deleted when they shutdown. Members are advised to save their work onto their own storage device. PCs close down automatically 15 minutes before closure and work should be saved and any printing completed before this time.

  3. Internet equipment and software must be used as installed. Users are not permitted to add, delete, or modify installed hardware or software. It is not acceptable to use the Internet for any purpose which violates UK laws to transmit malicious, threatening, or harassing materials or to disrupt network users. Disruptions include but are not limited to: distribution of unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer viruses or piracy.

  4. The IHR accepts no liability for loss of data or damage to members' devices caused by electrical failure or the university network. Devices should have appropriate anti-virus software installed.

10. Breach of the code

  1. Failure to comply with the code may be grounds for revocation of day passes, temporary withdrawal or in serious cases*, termination of membership.
    *In cases of serious breach eg violence, obscene conduct, theft, vandalism, damage to property, or using Institute premises to access or download illicit material, membership will be terminated immediately and will not be renewed.

  2. Appeals against decisions made regarding breaches of this code should be made in writing to the Director (ihr.director@sas.ac.uk).