About the Collection
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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.
- For the history of regions and individual countries, also consult regional pages .
- For the history of the ancient Near Eastern world, also consult Ancient and Near East Subject Guide .
- For art, art history and archaeology, also consult Art and Archeology Subject Guide
- For the history of religions, also consult Religions Subject Guide
- For legal and constitutional history, also consult Law Subject Guide
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
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 .
The reference collections (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, bibliographies, directories etc.) are shelved in separate sequences. Check the location list for details.
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