Library, Special Collections and Brunei Gallery
The SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and attracts scholars from all over the world to consult its holdings and further their research.
Library & Special Collections
Our students have access to the SOAS Library, one of the world’s most important academic libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It is the jewel in the School’s crown. One of only five UK National Research Libraries, it is the first port of call for research on Africa, Asia and the Middle East attracting scholars worldwide to consult its holdings and further their research. In total, the Library houses over 1.8 million volumes at the SOAS campus at Russell Square, together with a significant collection of archives, manuscripts, and rare books, an expanding Digital Library and a growing network of electronic resources.
The library’s resources are critical to SOAS’s vision of applying a global lens to the issues of our time, and of understanding the interconnectedness of our world. We have an inspiring vision and mission to transform access to SOAS and the Library, an internationally significant global learning resource for all. The library is an academic and cultural asset that demands greater accessibility and utility and houses important treasures that are hidden from view but that should be shared with all.
The Brunei Gallery is a vibrant gallery located in the heart of Bloomsbury, part of the Museum Mile in London that hosts a changing programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Opened in 1996, it hosts exhibitions and projects by prominent artists, researchers and academics with the aim to present and promote cultures from these regions while being a student resource and public and community facility. Acting as a bridge between ongoing innovative research taking part at SOAS and external audiences, the gallery champions ongoing work and research within the regions, something unique in the London art scene.
The gallery is also home to the SOAS Collection of over 500 artworks and objects in our care, relating to SOAS’s subjects, areas and regions of study which were given to SOAS, by donors, visiting dignitaries, SOAS staff, alumni and individuals. Promoting culture and acting as a source of research for the public and students at SOAS alike, is core to our values.
As well as increasing access and reducing barriers for anyone wishing to use the collection is essential to our aim objectives at the Brunei Gallery. With thanks to the Foyle Foundation, we have a permanent display of ‘Objects of Instruction: Treasures of SOAS’ in the Foyle Special Collections Gallery. It focuses on the School's remarkably rich but little known collections from across Asia and Africa that are at present known only to a few specialists.
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