IHR Library, Reader Access Update

January 2021: The IHR library is open for urgently needed books & study space. We encourage you to access services remotely if possible during the lockdown. We are offering a scanning and enquiry service. You will need to book a desk in advance of travelling to the library. Please read the guidance below.

Booking a place

You will need to reserve a space 24 hours in advance of your intended visit, and spaces are limited. You can book up to 2 weeks before your visit. 

To book your place click here.

Slots are available Monday to Wednesday 11:00 - 15:00. If you have booked a place you can use the library any time during these hours. All reading rooms except the Current Periodicals room and Americas collections room are open. You will be able to choose a desk on a first-come first-served basis. Books with locations IHR Floor 2 Americas – Reference, IHR onsite store or IHR offsite store and print periodicals can be reserved ahead via ihr.library@sas.ac.uk.

Please be aware that arrangements may need to change at short notice should our capacity become stretched or the situation with Covid-19 change.  You are advised to check before travelling.

Your library membership

Please join the IHR Library or renew your membership prior to visiting. Membership is free and can be arranged via the online form.

Temporary arrangements on visiting the Library

The following temporary arrangements are in place at the IHR building, and by booking you agree to follow the rules that are in place for everyone’s safety:  

  • You will need to enter Senate House from the Russell Square entrance. Please be prepared to show proof of booking your desk and an IHR membership card if you already have one. 

  • Social distancing signage and markings are in place. You should stay 2 metres apart from other building users.  

  • Please don’t come to the building if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. 

  • Face-coverings are required in the building unless you are exempt. 

  • Hand sanitiser will be available on entering the building. 

  • For everyone’s safety, we encourage you to #StaySafe & take a Covid test before entering the Library (up to 72hrs before arrival).

  • The University of London has signed up to the NHS Test and Trace system. You should see information around the building that will enable you to use this if you wish to do so. 

  • On arrival you should report to the IHR reception. Readers can only sit at the numbered desks. 

  • Some areas of the building will be staff-only, this will be indicated on signs and floor plans. 

  • Any books taken to your desk will need to be quarantined after use. You will be able to reserve books if you are returning within a week. You should use hand sanitiser before and after going to the shelves or using any library equipment. After using sanitiser, please let your hands dry fully before touching any of the books.  

  • You are encouraged to bring your own laptop. PCs won’t be available except by prior arrangement, so please contact library staff if you need to use one.  

  • Photocopiers and scanners will be available, and wipes and hand sanitiser will be provided. We recommend that you use your own camera where possible.  

  • Windows will be open to maximise air flow. We recommend that you bring warm clothing.  

  • Common room will not be open and there will be no catering or drinking water. You will need to leave the building for breaks. Please bring your own water bottle if needed. 

  • We encourage enquiries by email where possible. We are happy to arrange training sessions if you need any help and these can be held online.  

If you are unable to travel to the Library

We are still offering a scanning and enquiry service. You may also find some useful resources for your research in our online guides to Open and Free Access Materials for Research (launched March 2020) and Teaching British Histories of Race, Migration and Empire (August 2020).

Let us know if you have any questions. Contact us at ihr.library@sas.ac.uk or 020 7862 8760 (phone available reduced hours as above).