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Starting your research

Using other libraries

Researchers at City, University of London can benefit from a wide range of library collections held by other institutions and universities. This webpage sets out some of the main libraries available to you.

If the library you want to visit is not listed below, please contact a Research Librarian and we will check their access rules.

Library Hub Discover Includes the catalogues of many UK and Irish academic, national and specialist libraries, so it is a good way to find out what has been published. Libraries include the British Library, UCL and the Wellcome Library, amongst others.

SCONUL Access Scheme

The SCONUL Access Scheme allows City staff and students to visit a large number of other university libraries. 

As a research student or member of staff, the SCONUL libraries will for the most part allow you to borrow books. However remember to check the library you wish to visit before making your trip, as there may be restrictions on what you can borrow. There may also be some collections you are not able to borrow from.

Some libraries may allow Masters students to borrow some materials, but please check before travelling as this is not the case for all libraries.

In order to see the list of universities which are members of the SCONUL scheme, and to apply for SCONUL access, you need to complete an online SCONUL application form.

Senate House Library

Senate House Library  is the central library for the University of London with a research collection covering Arts, Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences. City students and staff can apply online for access to Senate House Library using the pre-registration form.

The British Library

The British Library is the UK's national library. Anyone can visit, but to use the Reading Rooms at St Pancras you will need to register for a Reader Pass. The British Library receives a copy of each book published in the UK, so will have books which may not be stocked by other libraries. You can search the British Library catalogue or search via Library Hub Discover

You can pre-register for your Reader Pass online. Once registered you will be able to log in and reserve items for your first visit.

On your first visit, you need to provide proof of your identity and address. 


You may find the Aim25 website useful for checking Archive collections. Examples of archives include:

  • City, University of London archive: contains a wide range of material detailing the history of the institution, from annual reports and general administrative records, to press cuttings, photographs and even audio tapes of special lectures.
  • London Metropolitan Archives: home to an extraordinary range of documents, images, maps, films and books about London. The archive is free to use for everyone, however if you wish to access original material at LMA you will need to register for a History Card.
  • National Archives: the UK Government's official archive covering more than 1,000 years of history. Government records which have been selected for permanent preservation are sent to The National Archives. You will need to register for a reader's ticket if you want to look at original documents. This will require proof of ID and proof of address.

London is home to hundreds of specialist research libraries and archives; this page lists only a few. If you would like to find out about specialist libraries in your subject area, please contact your Subject Librarian.

Some include: