About the Collection

  • Print collections

    The Library has important collections on the histories of the regions and individual countries of Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa.

    It also holds a large collection of thematic, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural histories, and works on historiography, historical research methods and the philosophy of history.

    Material on the history of the United Kingdom, Europe and America, and broader world history are only collected where they support undergraduate teaching.

  • Classmarks and location

    Books on interdisciplinary topics or covering more than one country or region are shelved in the Social Sciences and Humanities Collection on Level E (classmark A)

    Books on regional histories are shelved in the regional collections

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

  • Journals

    The Library has an extensive collection of journals in both print and electronic formats. For more information, check

    We welcome suggestions for new purchases for from Library members. Please complete a recommendation form .

  • Reference collection

    The reference collections (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, bibliographies, directories etc.) are shelved in separate sequences. Check the location list for details.

  • Special collections

    SOAS Library has:

    • Missionary archives (papers of both major societies and individual missionaries)
    • Business archives (firms trading in Asia & Africa)
    • Personal papers
    • Burma Campaign Memorial Library
    • Photographic archives (historical, anthropological, ethnological, sociological interest)
    • Older and rare books (pre-1880)
    • Maps (mainly pre-1900)
    • Oriental and African manuscripts

    For further information see - Archives & Special Collections