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SOAS Library

Requesting Material

Archives, manuscripts and rare books can be ordered by Online Order Form, email/telephone, or in person at the Special Collections Reading Room, SOAS Library. Material available at Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library is stored in secure, environmentally-controlled storage to ensure its long-term preservation.

Ordering: Online

Complete the Online Order Form.

You can order up to three items using this form. A single item is one box of archival material or an individual manuscript, rare book or thesis. Please give at least one working day’s notice of your visit.

Ordering: Email / Telephone

Contact us by email (docenquiry@soas.ac.uk) or telephone (+44 (0)20 7898 4180). Please include full reference information (see below) and the date of your visit. You can order up to three items.Please provide at least one working day’s notice of your visit.

Ordering: In Person

Material can be ordered in person at the Special Collections Reading Room, SOAS Library. You can submit up to three slips for each collection. Slips should be returned to the staff member on duty.

Collection Times

Collections of archives, manuscripts and rare books are made four times a day, at the following times:

  • 10.00am
  • 11.30am
  • 2.00pm
  • 4.00pm

Please note: collections can take up to 30 minutes to arrive from the store.

Ordering Archives & Manuscripts: Required Information

When ordering archives or manuscripts please supply by Online Order Form, email/telephone or requisition slip the following details for each box of archives or manuscript:

  • Order with this Reference (e.g. 'Liberation, Box 8' or 'MS 11117')
  • Title

Details can be found on the SOAS Archive Catalogue or paper finding aids.

Ordering Published Material & Thesis: Required Information

When ordering published rare books, periodicals or thesis please supply by online form, email/telephone or requisition slip the following details for each rare book, periodical or thesis:

  • Classmark (e.g. 'ED95.8 /764391')
  • Title
  • For periodicals or multi-part works, the volumes/issues required (maximum 3)

Details can be found on the SOAS Library Catalogue.