SOAS University of London

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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.

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Special Collections Re-opening September 2022

We are pleased to inform our users that Special Collections will resume a reading room service in September 2022, in the final phase of essential refurbishment work. Please contact us for details and to make arrangements to visit. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused during our closure. We will continue to provide updates on this webpage. Should you have any questions, please contact

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