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Starting Your Research

  • How do I find books and journals?

    Search the SOAS Library catalogue. This will find print and electronic books and print journals. Widen your search to include other research libraries in the UK and Ireland by using COPAC.

  • How do I find journals articles?

    If you know the article you are looking for search the Library catalogue and/or A-to-Z electronic journals for the title of the journal if you want to find what articles have been written on a certain subject then start with Primo Central searching tool and then move on to more subject-specific databases (use the pull down menus).

  • How do I find multmedia resources?

    In the Library you can search by classmark for DVDs and CDs

  • How do I find newspapers?
  • What if SOAS Library doesn't have the material I need?

    Try other libraries. For South Asia the following libraries are recommended:
    British Library Oriental & India Office Collections
    The British Library - through the combination of the collecting traditions of the old British Museum Library and the India Office Library and Records - possesses the finest single resource for Asian, and particularly South Asian, studies in the world.

    India Office Records (British Library)
    The India Office Records are the documentary archives of the administration in London of the pre-1947 government of India. They comprise the archives of the East India Company (1600-1858), of the Board of Control or Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India (1784-1858), of the India Office (1858-1947), of the Burma Office (1937-1948), and of a number of related British agencies overseas.

    Royal Asiatic Society Library
    The Royal Asiatic Society exists to encourage and facilitate Asian Studies and is Britain's senior learned society in the field. The Library is primarily for the use of the members of the Society, both Fellows and Library Associates. Other readers may be admitted, by prior appointment, for a limited period of time.

    Indian Institute Library, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
    The Indian Institute Library, opened in 1886, is a dependent library of the Bodleian specialising in the history and culture of South Asia, Tibet and the Himalayas. The collection covers the history and culture of South Asia from medieval times to the present day. The collection contains books in and on most post-classical Indic languages, although holdings are much less substantial than those for Sanskrit, Prakrit and Pali.

    Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine : Oriental Collections
    The history of medicine in Asian cultures, in both primary and secondary sources, forms the core of the collection but, since medical history cannot be studied in isolation from the cultures in which it developed, almost every area of human endeavour is represented. Several catalogues of the major language collections have been published and catalogues of the smaller Oriental collections appear in appropriate learned journals.

    Library, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge
    The Library of the Faculty of Oriental Studies has grown, from very modest beginnings in the early years of the twentieth century, to what is now a collection of more than 50,000 volumes about the language, literature and culture of the countries stretching across the centre of Asia from Turkey to Japan.

    Library of the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
    The Library holds some 22,500 monographs on South and Southeast Asia, many of which are not available elsewhere in Cambridge. The subject coverage of the Centre's collection is broadly the humanities and the social sciences.

    Ancient India & Iran Trust Library, University of Cambridge
    The library of the Ancient India and Iran Trust is a unique independent resource for research in the fields of the cultural heritage of ancient India, Iran and Central Asia and the history of the Indo-Iranian languages.

    Royal Commonwealth Society Library
    From its foundation in 1868, the organisation known successively as the Colonial Society, Royal Colonial Institute, Royal Empire Society and finally the Royal Commonwealth Society, amassed a library on the British Empire, the Commonwealth and member countries - an astonishing range of books, pamphlets, periodicals, official publications, manuscripts and photographs. The collection now consists of approximately 300,000 printed items and over 70,000 photographs, including material on South Asia. The Royal Commonwealth Society Library is now housed in Cambridge University Library.

    Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library
    The ICS Library is a major resource for those working on the Commonwealth as a whole or on any of its member states, including South Asia, in the fields of history, politics and international relations and other subjects such as agriculture, education, the environment and social questions.

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