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 service enables SOAS students and staff to order digital copies of extracts from library materials where copyright rules allow.

Book Returns - books 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 the address below. To ensure books are not lost we recommend that postal returns are sent by registered post

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 on borrowed items. 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: Interlibrary loans are available for Postgraduates for details please see MYSOAS. Undergraduate students wishing to request an interlibrary loan should contact their subject librarian.

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 are available in the Library and Paul Webley Wing. Study space can be booked in advance via the booking form. There are a limited number of study spaces available on a first come, first serve basis, from 10.30am (weekdays only).

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 the moment, only SOAS students and staff can borrow items from the Library and book study 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 not be charged until further notice.

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.

If you have any further questions about the Library please email