SOAS (University of London) Library

Last updated 8th April 2019
Name of library SOAS (University of London)
Address Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG 
Telephone 020 7898 4163 
Website  http:/
Alternative names School of Oriental and African Studies
Contact & Job Title Contact relevant regional Subject Librarian or Subject Librarian for Arts & Humanities:
Purpose & main user community of the library A library of one of the constituent colleges of the University of London. For staff and students
Terms of access Photo ID required to apply for membership. Membership also available to academic community via SCONUL access scheme. Fees are charged for some categories of membership. Full details on the library’s web pages:
Opening hours Library: 9.00-23.30. 
Archives and Special Collections: 9.00-17.00 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). 
For full details see:
Disabled access Ground floor has level access to all areas. There are lifts serving all other floors of the Library
Lending to other libraries & visitors Other Libraries see website :
For details of borrowing membership for external users, see :
Number of volumes whole library – 1.2 million (some material stored off-site)
Periodicals – Back Issues 20,000
Current Periodicals 1,519
Other materials DVDs & videos: 7,300, CDs: 2,900, Microforms :  120,000     
Volumes added per year 10,500
Coverage The religions and philosophies of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Books and manuscripts, including translations, of a range of sacred texts. Also general and comparative religious studies, theologies and philosophies                     
Special Collections SOAS library holds archives and papers documenting the activities of major British missionary societies, and of individual missionaries, active in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. See Archives & Special Collections:
Manuscripts SOAS library holds a range of manuscripts relating to the religions of Asia and the Middle East
Research resource Major national collections on Hinduism; Sikhism; Buddhism; Jainism; Zoroastrianism; Islam; Judaism; Eastern Christianity; Confucianism; Shinto; Taoism; Shamanism; the traditional faiths of Africa, Australia and the Pacific; and the new religious movements of our own time. Comparative religion and philosophy. Missionary archives.
Catalogue Type Online. Some Library material is still represented only on the digital version of the old card catalogue (
URL of catalogue
Other facilities Photocopying, networked printers; WiFi; walk-in users have access to most of the Library’s e-resources onsite (e-journals, databases, some e-books)
Full Time Staff 55 (liable to change)
Part Time Staff  
Voluntary Staff  
Changes in next five years affecting the above The restructure of Library staff roles, commencing in 2019, may see changes in the way services are delivered
Anything else about the library Grade 2* Denis Lasdun design (1973)