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 Closure: November 2021 - Summer 2022

SOAS Special Collections is now closed until summer 2022 due to refurbishment work taking place on Library Level F.

The UKRI and AHRC funded refurbishment project will significantly improve the Library’s environment systems for its archives, manuscripts and rare books stores as part of our ongoing commitment to safeguard the collections in our care for now and the future.

During the closure some of our collections will continue to be available via SOAS Digital Collections or as microform copies.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. As the refurbishment project progresses, we will provide updates on this webpage. Should you have any questions, please contact

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