SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Library services have been adapted to offer:

Click and Collect – SOAS students and staff can order up to 5 books. Further details about how to request items can be found on My SOAS.

Scan and Send – this is a new service that will enable SOAS students and staff to order digital copies of extracts from library materials where copyright rules allow.

Book Returns - book returns can be returned via book bins located in the College Buildings foyer and the Paul Webley Wing.

Books can also be returned by post to this address below, make sure to register the delivey to make sure books don't get lost.

SOAS Library c/o Returned Books
SOAS University of London
10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Q: How many items can I borrow? For how long?
A: You can request up to 5 books, DVDs or music items for loan at a time by using our ‘click and collect’ service.
All items are loaned for one month.

Q: Is it safe to borrow books from the Library?
A: Books go through a quarantine process of 72 hours, to ensure they are safe to use. Please do not use disinfectants or sanitisers. They contain alcohol, bleach or other chemicals that damage books and manuscripts.

Q: Can I renew the books I have on loan?
A: Yes, you can renew them on your Library Account page. If you need further assistance with renewing your loans, please contact

Q: I am a SOAS student or staff, can I borrow books from other libraries?
A: At this moment, the Interlibrary loan service for printed items is not available.
You can request interlibrary loans for electronic resources. Please note there is a fees for this service.

Q: Can I access the Library?
A: The Library building will remain closed to the public until it is safe to return. SOAS Staff and students should please check MySOAS for information about library re-opening and details of study spaces on campus.

Q: Can I study on campus?
A:  Study spaces in the Paul Webley Wing can be booked.
To book a Postgraduate Study space in the library or a study space in the Paul Webley Wing, please fill in the booking form.

Q: I have a disability and I need to book a study space, will support be available?
A: You can specify the assistance you require when submitting your booking form and we will confirm if we can provide you with this assistance.

Q: I am an external user, can I use the Library?
A: At this moment, only SOAS students and staff can borrow items from the Library and book stud spaces. External users will be able to use the Library in future stages of reopening.

Q: What electronic resources can I access for my study and research?
A: The Library provides SOAS students and staff with access to a wide range of electronic resources, including electronic books, journals, databases, news sources, data and statics, etc.

Q: How can I access electronic resources from home?
A: All electronic resources are accessible off-campus for SOAS students and staff.
In this A-Z database list you can find the formatted links to access them from home.

Q: Will I be fined on overdue loans?
A: Fines for overdue loans will remain off until September.

Q: Where can I check the Library holdings?
A: You can visit the Library catalogue and the electronic resources. If you need further assistance, please contact your Subject Librarian.

Q: I need a book that is not held by SOAS Library, what can I do?
A: You can use this recommendation form to suggest a book for purchase, or contact your Subject Librarian.

If you have any further questions about the Library please email