SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Exams Time admissions policy for visitors and external members - Monday 24th April to Monday 5th June 2017 inclusive.

Please note that we will be restricting access to some users from Monday 24th April to Monday 5th June 2017 due to high demand for study spaces by SOAS students during deadline and exam times.

Visitor access to the SOAS Library is provided so that visitors can access our research materials and special collections, and not simply to use the study spaces. During the examinations period SOAS Library can become very busy and there may be occasions when we have to restrict visitor access in order to ensure that SOAS students can find a study space.  If you come as a visitor to the library at a busy time, please do not be offended if we ask you which of our research materials or special collections you need to see.  The afternoons are particularly busy so it may make your visit easier if you come to the library as early as possible in the day.

  • I already have a Library card, can I use the Library during this period?

    You can continue to use the Library if you are:

    • An existing SCONUL Access member with a valid card
    • An existing external user with an existing and valid paid membership card (both reference and borrowing)
    • A corporate and/or group member with a valid card
    • Part of a pre-arranged group visit

    (In all these cases, please make sure you bring your card as we can't offer you a Day Pass during this period.)

  • I am an Academic Staff member or Research Student (SCONUL Band A) from another university. Can I join the Library during this period?

    Yes, we will continue to create new SCONUL Access cards (Band A) for Research and staff users with valid institutional cards.

  • Can I get a Day Pass?

    During this period we will only issue Day Passes for:

    • SOAS staff and students who have forgotten their cards (up 3 free passes)
    • SOAS Alumni - bring either an old Alumni library card, or form from the Alumni office.
    • Overseas academics and PhD researchers with institutional id confirming their status.
  • I am a student (undergraduate or taught postgraduate) from another University of London college, can I apply to join the Library during this period?

    Unfortunately we can only enrol new members from other Colleges after the exam period has finished - from Tuesday 6th June 2017

  • I am an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student with a SCONUL Access Card. Can I apply to join the Library or renew my card during this period?

    Unfortunately we are only able to accept new applications from SCONUL Band A (Academic Staff and Research Students) during this period. 

    We can only accept applications for new membership or renewals from Tuesday 6th June 2017

  • I am an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student from a non-SCONUL, private or overseas university. Can I join the Library during the restrictions?

    Undergraduates and taught Postgraduate students from non-SCONUL, and non-University of London institutions are not allowed to join during the period of restriction.

  • Can I visit Archives and Special Collections during this period?

    Visitors to the Archives and Special Collections are unaffected by the restrictions. You are welcome to use SOAS Archives and Special Collections if you hold a SOAS Library card. Please note that Day Pass
    users are not able to view archives or manuscripts.  If you’re not based at an academic institution, or find that you do not automatically qualify for a free library card under normal admission rules, or are unsure of how to gain access to the collections then contact us directly by e-mail at, or telephone on +44 (0)20 7898 4180 so that we can make alternative arrangements for you to be issued with a free Archives Ticket.

    Cards will be created and renewed for the above groups with valid documentation.

  • I'm a SOAS Alumni can I still visit the Library?

    Yes, if you're renewing your membership bring your old SOAS alumni membership card and/or photo id (passport, drivers license etc), plus proof of address (e.g. bank statement or utility bill dated within the last 3 months) with you.

    If you haven't joined the Library as an alumni before you'll need to contact the Alumni Office to verify your application. For information on how do to this visit the admissions page for alumni.