Collection Development Policy - Gender Studies

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


1. The Centre for Gender Studies

The interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies, housed in the Faculty for Languages and Cultures, has been established to promote the study of gender in relation to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its primary objectives are to promote interdisciplinary research and teaching in the field of Gender Studies with particular reference to Asia, Africa and the Middle East; and to provide a forum for collaboration in the research and teaching of Gender Studies both within SOAS and in conjunction with other institutions.

The Centre offers MSc, and MPhil/PhD programmes. It has 41 members and 78 FTE students, including 46.5 taught postgraduates and 31.5 research students.

For more information see:


3. History

  • The Library has actively built up collections on Gender Studies 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 on the discipline of Gender Studies

4. Languages

The Library collects material in:

  • 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
  • For more details see the General Collection Development Policy

5. Classification

Material on general, cross-regional or global aspects on the discipline of Gender Studies are classified using 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"

Material relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East are 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].

6. Special Collections

  • This collection includes diaries (mostly in German), anthropological field notes, published and unpublished papers (in English) relating to peoples of India of Professor Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf (born 1909). Special Officer Subansiri, External Affairs Department, Government of India, 1944-45; Advisor to HEH the Nizam’s Government and Professor of Anthropology in the Osmania University, 1945-1949; Professor of Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies 1951 until 1976. 56 boxes & outsize items.
  • For more information see
  • This collection includes field work and language material of Emily Dora Earthy, missionary in Mozambique 1917-1930
  • The collection contains her manuscript notes on Valenge women which were published under the title Valenge Women: the Social and Economic Life of the Valenge Women of Portuguese East Africa, in 1933. 3 boxes.
  • For more information see Archives
  • This collection includes material collected by Jean Boyd on the Nigerian woman poet, Nana Asma’u (1973-1865), works by her father Shehdu dan Fodio (1754-1817), and works by female members of her family.
  • It includes manuscript copies of poems by Asma’u in Fulfude, Hausa and Arabic together with translations. Also papers relating to women’s organisations in Northern Nigeria. 13 boxes.
  • For more information see Archives


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

The Library aims to collect materials to a teaching level for all courses taught by the Centre for Gender Studies. It will also collect teaching level material that falls within the discipline of Gender Studies to support other courses taught at SOAS.


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 to support Gender Studies are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy

  • Men and masculinity
  • Prostitution
  • Women and feminism
  • Sexual orientation, Homosexuality & Queer theory
  • Sexuality

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


9. Major Databases

General Databases
  • Access World News
  • Anthrosource
  • Bibliography of Asian studies: linguistics
  • Cambridge Books Online (e-books)
  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • BBC Monitoring Library
  • Dawsonera (e-books)
  • EBSCOhost
  • Index Islamicus
  • InformaWorld
  • IngentaConnect
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences(IBSS)
  • ISI Web of Science/Knowledge
  • Linguistics and Language Behaviour Abstracts (LLBA)
  • Linguistics proceedings directory
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • Oxford Journals Online
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • Periodicals Archive Online
  • Project MUSE
  • ScienceDirect
  • 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 Guides

For regional specific databases see Subject Statements

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


11. Trends for the Future

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

  • As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies the Library retains one endeavours to 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