Music Collection: Starting your research

  • How do I find books and journals?

    Search the SOAS Library catalogue . This will find print and electronic books and print journals. SOAS staff and students can explore more e-book collections using Ebrary . Widen your search to include other research libraries in the UK and Ireland by using COPAC .

  • How do I find journal articles?

    If you know the article you are looking for search the Library catalogue and/or eJournal and eBook Finder for the title of the journal. If you want to find what articles have been written on a certain subject then start with EBSCO Discovery searching tool and then move on to more subject-specific databases.

  • How do I find newspapers?
  • How do I find multi-media resources?

    Majority of music CDs and DVDs are open access on Level E, stack 48 and 49. Music CDs and DVDs are classified according to regions:-

    Music CDs
    Classmark Regions
    MY3 Sub-Saharan Africa
    MY4 North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia)
    MY5 Near and Middle East, (incl. Balkans)
    MY6 Jewish Music
    MY15 South Asia
    MY20 South East Asia (incl. Oceania)
    MY24 East Asia incl. China (incl. Tibet, Mongolia)
    MY25 Japan, Korea
    MY34 Asia and Africa in general (i.e. compilation, cross region)
    MY40 Other regions of the world (i.e. World music, Cuban music, Latin Music) or Non-regional

    Classmark Regions
    MDVD 3 Sub-Saharan Africa
    MDVD 4 North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia)
    MDVD 5 Near and Middle East, (incl. Israel)
    MDVD 15 South Asia
    MDVD 20 South East Asia (incl. Oceania)
    MDVD 24 East Asia incl. China (incl. Tibet, Mongolia)
    MDVD 25 Japan, Korea
    MDVD 34 Asia and Africa in general (i.e. cross region)
    MDVD 40 Other regions of the world

    Closed Access Materials:-
    EMY Reference Only music CDs
    MDVD Reference Only DVDs

    To consult ‘Reference Only’ CDs and DVDs, requisition slips are available at Issue Desk. The form should be completed and returned to the staff. You may submit up to three slips for each collection.
    Collections of closed access materials are made four times per day (10 am, 11.30 am, 2 pm & 4 pm)

  • SOAS Research Online

    SOAS Research Online - Open access e-print repository of academic publications (articles, book chapters, theses etc.) by SOAS staff.

  • What if SOAS Library does not hold what I need?

    Search other libraries’ holdings using COPAC (Research Libraries UK Union Catalogue) & SUNCAT

    For Music resources, the following libraries are recommended

    British Library
    The U.K’s national Library has a world-famous collection of printed and manuscript music, all types of music recordings (including world and traditional music) and books and periodicals on music.

    British Library Sound Archives
    The British Library Sound Archives holds over a million discs and thousands of tapes. It consists of recorded sounds, including classical music, popular music, jazz and world music from all over the world.  The Listening and Viewing Service operates by appointment. Over 50,000 rare recordings of sounds are freely available via The British Library Sounds website.

    Senate House Library
    Senate House Library has a comprehensive collection of books on music, scores and periodicals. The collection covers primarily the music of Europe and the Americas (North and South) from the 15th century to the present.

    Jewish Music Institute
    Books, sheet music and audios recordings on the whole spectrum of Jewish music from medieval times to the 21st century. Appointment necessary if you are not a SOAS student or member of staff

    Westminster Central Music Library
    The largest public music library in the south of U.K.  It has large number of music scores and sheet music. A collection of CDs and cassettes is available for loan.

    City University
    City University has comprehensive collection on Ethnomusicology, world music and jewish music.  To access City University library, you need to be part of the SCONUL Access Scheme.

  • How do I cite and reference sources?

    Citing and referencing is the way in which you provide details of quotations, arguments and ideas of others that you included in your own work. To avoid plagiarism, always keep notes as you go along of what you have been reading. Using a reference organising software (i.e. Zotero and Endnote Web ) would be recommended.

    There are a number of different citing and referencing systems. Check with your Department and Academic which referencing system they prefer being used. The key is to be consistent.

    Referencing guides are available from the Help yourself Study Resources site

    A comprehensive guide to the Harvard system has been created by Anglia Ruskin University and is available at

    Audiovisual citation: New British Universities Film & Video Council’s (BUFVC) guidelines of citing audiovisual materials can be found here