IHR Library, Reader Access Update

May 2021: Opening hours are Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00. 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. You can book up to 2 weeks ahead. 

Book your place

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00. If you have booked a place you can use the library any time during these hours. All reading rooms are open, although please speak to staff if you'd like to access the current periodicals room. You will be able to choose a numbered desk on a first-come first-served basis. Items with locations IHR onsite store or IHR offsite store should be ordered ahead, and you are also advised to pre-book if you'd like to use a microform reader, 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 and around the building. 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.  
  • 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. 
  • You are encouraged to bring your own laptop. A limited number of PCs are available.  
  • 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 if needed.  
  • Some areas of the building are staff-only, this is indicated on signs and floor plans. 
  • The common room is open for library readers, but there is no catering available. Social distancing remains in place. 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).