SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Library services have been adapted to offer:

* ‘Click and Collect’ – new service for SOAS students and staff. Order up to 5 books and collect them from the Paul Webley Wing.
Entry and Exit will be carefully managed. You will need to book a collection time slot to collect your books.

Collections will take place 10:00-16:00 from Monday to Friday.

* 'Scan and Send’ – this is a new service that will enable SOAS students and staff to order digital copies of library collections where copyright rules allow.

* Book returns - book returns can be returned via book bins located in the Paul Webley Wing.
Books can also be returned by post at this address:

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, so we ensure they are safe to borrow.
Disinfecting solutions contain alcohol, bleach or other chemicals that can damage books and manuscripts, this is NOT recommended.

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 for renewing your loans, please contact

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

Q: Can I study on campus?
A: There will be a limited number of study spaces available at the PWW from 13 July.
You can book a 3-hour slot from 10.00 to 16.00 Monday to Friday. Depending on demand, more spaces will be made available. Please book a space via this link:

Q: I have a disability and I need to book a reading 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 studying spaces. External users will be allowed to use the Library in future stages of the 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 available from SOAS Library webpages. 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 form to recommend a book for purchase or contact your Subject Librarian.

If you have any further questions about the Library please contact us.