Library information for IHR staff, students and Fellows


IHR staff, students and fellows have access to a range of resources for academic research through the School of Advanced Study and the University of London. The Senate House Library and School of Advanced Study libraries share a catalogue which can be searched collectively or separately for each library. The catalogue indicates the location(s) of the item, and whether it is reference-only, borrowable, open access or needs to be requested.

Library membership/ access to other libraries

Your SAS/central university ID card serves as a membership card for IHR and SHL.

Other libraries will have separate arrangements but you’ll often need your card as ID. Membership information can be found on library websites.


SCONUL Access allows research students (including MRes), staff and Fellows to use collections at other libraries that belong to the scheme. Applications can be made on the SCONUL access website:

  • Step 1 Kind of user: Select the relevant PhD category (for PhD and MRes students) or 'Academic and support staff' (for staff and fellows).
  • Step 2 List of institutions: Select ‘Institute of Historical Research, University of London’.

Applying for access to one SCONUL member library will supply you with an approval email that can be used at any of the eligible libraries. MA students aren’t eligible for this scheme but will often be able to get reference-access.

Contact IHR library enquiry office on 020 7862 8760 or with any queries.

IHR library

A reference collection of printed primary sources, bibliographies, guides to sources, periodicals and reference works. Covering medieval to modern history, for Western European countries and their colonial history.

The library is spread over four floors of the IHR. It is all reference-only. There is a library enquiry office on the 1st floor. Some of the IHR library’s books are held in closed access locations (marked onsite and offsite store on the catalogue) and need to be requested. This can be done in person or by email. Requests from the onsite store are fetched at 09.00, 11.00, 14.00 and 16.30 Mon-Fri and 14.00 on Saturday. Requests from offsite take 1-2 working days. Requests will be available to collect from the shelves outside the library enquiry office.

Staff and students may take books to offices in other parts of the Institute but should not remove them from the building. Please let staff know by emailing if you are taking an item for more than a few hours. If a book is required by another reader we may recall or retrieve it.

IHR library contact details are as follows:

Senate House Library

Senate House Library’s holdings cover the humanities and social sciences. You can find more information about the research collections at

The Library’s Special Collections include printed books, pamphlets, periodicals and maps, as well as archives and manuscripts. More details can be found on at

The Library entrance is on the fourth floor of Senate House south block.

Senate House Library contact details are as follows:

Other SAS libraries

Other libraries

There is a list of history collections in London on the IHR's History Online History Libraries and Collections. See also the History collections blog.

Inter-library loans

  • You can contact the IHR library enquiry office to ask about inter-library loans. There is a charge from the supplying library which you will need to pay (we can make arrangements to charge to a department if applicable), and we can give further details at the time of ordering. We would not normally order items that are available elsewhere in London.
  • Many UK theses are available to order through the British Library’s EThOS service and are therefore often non-lending.

Periodicals and Digital Resources

> For further advice on using electronic resources and journals, see training notes for students.

Onsite and offsite access to electronic resources

Download e-resources user guide.

The libraries provide access to a wide-range of electronic resources. From IHR and SHL PCs you can use resources directly. From other locations you can access many licensed resources using the barcode from your staff/student/fellow ID card. You normally need to access these resources via special links from the catalogue or the library websites, rather than directly from the resource's website. Due to licence restrictions, offsite access is only available to current staff, students and Fellows of the Institute and not to the wider membership.

For a full list of e-resources, see Follow the links from the catalogue or list to get access. You will be prompted for your name and barcode number when offsite. 

Historic Digimap

Historic Digimap provides access to historic Ordnance Survey maps, see further coverage information. Access arrangements are different from the other electronic resources.

IHR staff and students can login with your university username (the first part of your email address) and password. Please follow the instructions below. 
IHR Fellows should contact the IHR library enquiry office about access. Due to licence restrictions access is not available to other IHR members.

  • Go to
  • Click to 'Log in'
  • Select or type ‘University of London’ under organisation and ‘Continue’. Choose the one that is simply 'University of London' not any of the other variations.
  • Login with your university username (first part of email address) and password.
  • You will need to complete the short registration form the first time you use it.

Contact IHR library enquiry office on 020 7862 8760 or with any queries.

Please could you also note the following important requirement for the Digimap licence: “Students and members of staff do not qualify as Authorised Users for the duration of any extended period of study or teaching abroad at an overseas campus, where extended period means any period of one academic term or longer”. Please could you therefore contact the IHR library ( if this applies to you so that we can temporarily remove access for the period. Access will be audited and failing to comply with the licence terms can lead to fines and withdrawal of access for everyone.


The SHL/IHR library catalogue does not contain full article details, so you will need to search by periodical title rather than for the author or title of the article.

Journals are available in print and/or electronic format. Electronic journals are often available in multiple places, for example the publisher’s website has the recent volumes and JSTOR has a back run. To access the electronic journals, you should follow the links from the library catalogue. From offsite you can usually login with your surname and barcode number.

In the IHR recent copies of print journals can be browsed in the Friends’ current periodicals room next to the common room on the ground floor. Back volumes are in the ‘onsite’ or ‘offsite’ store and can be requested.

If you would like advice on using any of these resources please contact the IHR or Senate House Library enquiry points

Copying and Printing

You can copy, print and scan across the IHR, SHL and Warburg Institute using one account. For further information see details below or ask at a library enquiry point. Other libraries have separate arrangements. Central University of London staff will automatically have an account created when they start.

Wifi Access

Wifi Access is available across the central university buildings. See, pick up a leaflet at the reception or ask at the library enquiry points.