SOAS Library
  • Context
  • Collection
  • Coverage
  • E-Resources
  • Future


1. The Economics Department

The study of Economics at SOAS started in 1962, as a section in the newly established department of Economic and Political Studies. The department was divided in October 1990, when the Department of Economics was formed.

The department offers undergraduate, MA, MPhil and PhD programmes. It currently has 23.9 FTE members of staff. At present, the department has 291 FTE undergraduates, 87 FTE taught postgraduates and 35 FTE research students.

For more information see:


3. History

  • The Library has actively built up collections on Economics relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East within its regional collections
  • The Library has supported course reading lists and selectively purchased material on general, cross-regional or global aspects and on the discipline of Economics

4. Languages

  • Some European languages, especially English, for general, cross-regional or global aspects and for the discipline
  • Also the languages of Asia, Africa and the Middle East for regional publications
  • See Collection Development Policy

5. Classification

Print material on general, cross-regional or global aspects and on the discipline of Economics is classified using the Dewey Decimal Classification.

All books are prefixed using the following:

  • All main books are prefixed “A”
  • Large books are prefixed "LA"
  • Reference books are prefixed "Ref A"
  • Large reference books are prefixed "L Ref A"

Print material relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East is mostly classified using the Dewey Decimal Classification (with various letter prefixes), but in some regional collections alternative classification schemes are in use [see specific regions for details].


Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:

The collection aims to collect materials to a teaching level for all courses taught within the Department of Econmics and Regional & Departmental Centres.
All economics students have access to, and borrowing rights, at Senate House Library. All economics students have access to the London School of Economics (LSE) Library; postgraduate students can apply for borrowing rights.


The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below :

8. Detailed Structure

The main subject areas of collecting for Economics in Africa, China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy .

  • Comparative Economics
  • Development and Growth
  • Distribution of income and growth
  • Economic systems, schools, theories
  • Econometrics
  • Economic Situation and Conditions
  • Environmental economics, Natural Resources and Energy
  • Industry and business
  • International Economics & Finance
  • Labour Economics
  • Land and Property
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Money, banking and finance
  • Multilateral Economic Cooperation
  • Political Economy
  • Public Finance
  • Rural Economics & Agriculture
  • Socialism and Related Systems
  • Trade

For details on the following subject areas see the relevant Subject Statements:


9. Major Databases

General Databases
  • Access World News
  • Bankscope
  • BBC Monitoring Library
  • Cambridge Books Online
  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Dawsonera (e-books)
  • Ebscohost
  • EconLit
  • Economic and Social Data Service
  • Greenfile
  • InformaWorld
  • IngentaConnect
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
  • ISI Web of Science / Knowledge
  • NBER Working Papers
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • Oxford Journals Online
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • Periodicals Archive Online
  • Project MUSE
  • Sage Journals Online
  • ScienceDirect
  • Social Science Citation Index
  • Wiley InterScience
  • Zetoc
Regional Databases
  • Africa Wide
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies
  • Brill Online (Encyclopaedia of Islam etc.)
  • China Academic Journals
  • Chinese Studies Online
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974-1996
  • Indiastat
  • Korean-studies Information Service System
  • Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies
  • Nikkei Telecom 21
  • Oxford Islamic Studies
  • Taiwan Electronic Periodical Services

10. Online Subject Guide

For more information and online resources see the Subject Guide for Economics

For regional specific databases see Subject Statements

For other databases SOAS subscribes to see A-Z database list


11. Trends for the future

Growth of trans-disciplinary teaching in thematic studies, e.g.

  • Comparative political economy; emerging markets
  • Labour and migration; diaspora mobilisation; refugee studies
  • Normative values and methodologies
  • Islamic finance and banking
  • Sustainable development

Move towards more online full-text resources where possible and appropriate:

  • As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies the Library  seeks to retain one print copy of selected scholarly titles and also provide electronic access to these materials (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.), where available
  • For subjects of a theoretical, general or non-regional nature the electronic version (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.) is favoured