SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Welcome to Special Collections, SOAS Library

Here you can consult archives, manuscripts, photographs, maps, audio-visual material, rare books and SOAS PhD theses relating to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and beyond.

Broadly speaking, our collections reflect the British interaction with Africa and Asia over the last 250 years, and include archives of missionary societies, NGOs and campaign groups, and business organisations, as well as papers of individuals, including diplomats, campaigners, and academics.

Contact Details

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SOAS Special Collections on Twitter SOAS Special ~Collections on Instagram SOAS Special Collections Blog

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Access to Special Collections

Service update: The Special Collections Reading Room is now open. Access will be provided in the Main Reading Room, Library Level D.

To allow for social distancing, the number of people using the Reading Room will be temporarily restricted, and places must be booked in advance. Users must also preorder all material they wish to consult during their visit.

We have made some changes to our Special Collections Reading Room opening hours and procedures in light of Covid-19, so even if you’ve visited us before, please read our guidance explaining what you can expect from your visit. 

Using Special Collections

Our Collections

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Special Collections Blog