About the Collection

The Library develops and maintains Art and Archaeological collections on books, journal, audio-visual, electronic and multimedia items on all aspects of Asian, African and the Middle Eastern art and archaeology.

  • What's in the collection?
    • Books on Asian, African and the Middle Eastern art and archaeology in Western and Asian vernacular languages.  (Classmark with letter code F)
    • Extensive collection of journals in both print and electronic format. (Classmarks range between Per 100 and Per 109) Check the Library catalogue and eJournal and eBook Finder for more information.
    • Sales catalogues of Asian and African art
    • Sotheby's (from 1877 onwards)
    • Christie's (1879-1959 and from 1974 onwards)
    • Other visual materials including photographs, slides, colour prints, paper cuts and rubbings
  • Location

    The Art collection can be found on Level D between stacks 1 and 59 and 118-129.

    The reference collection is located separately on Level D between stacks 258 and 261.  Classmarks range between FA and FZX.

    Part of the collection is held in off-site storage.

    For a full listing of classmarks and their location, please consult the location list web pages.

    To request materials from storage please see off site storage web pages for details.

  • Notable collections

    Slides, photographs and other visual material including (available for consultation upon request)

    • Lorimer Collection: Slides mainly of Hunza in Kashmir and Iran produced by Lt.-Col. David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer (1876-1962) in the 1920 and 1930s.
    • IVARI Research Project: Colour transparencies of the Braj area in India, produced by the International Association of the Varindaban Research Institute, 1976-1978.
    • Photographic archive in the Chinese National Palace and Central Museums, Taiwan
    • Hunt (EH Hunt) collection: photographic collection of Indian art, archaeological and anthropological interest, produced between 1917 and 1930.
    • William-Hunt Collection: Aerial photographs, mainly covered Cambodia (Angkor Wat), Thailand and Burma acquired by Peter William Hunt (1919-1953) during and after World War II and organised by Dr. Elizabeth Moore.
      Digital collection of the photographs is available at Geo-Spatial Digital Archive Project site.
    • Japanese colour prints and sketch albums from the collections of Lord Harlech and Mr. Frederick Anderson.
    • Chinese colour prints of New Year pictures, calendars, historical events. Mainly produced 19th and early 20th Centuries
  • Special Collections

    Special collections are held in the Archives & Special Collections .

    Relevant collections include:

    • Photographic albums (Nagas of Northeast India, 1930s; Hunza in Kashmir and Iran, 1920s-1930s; Asian scenes, 1880s-1940s)
    • Scrolls (procession of Korean ambassadors; Hoyuji Temple wall-paintings)
    • Paintings (album of flower paintings presented by Emperor Pu Yi to Dr. Reginald Johnston)

    To consult above, please contact: special.collections@soas.ac.uk, Tel: 020-7898-4180

    Related Links
    Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
    Brunei Gallery
    The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.