Birkbeck Library > Other libraries

Other Libraries

Using other Libraries | Libraries in the Bloomsbury area | Other London Libraries Libraries in the UK  | Libraries Worldwide

Before using other libraries

  • If the book or journal you need is not held in Birkbeck Library you can apply for an interlibrary loan - free of charge
  • If you are looking for journals, don't forget to check Birkbeck Library's e-journals first
  • Try the Open Access Button to see if the item is freely available on the web
  • Please note that reciprocal arrangements with other libraries may be limited to permanent academic staff and students on degree courses and do not necessarily include certificate and diploma or Extra Mural awards students, sessional or administrative staff.

Using other libraries

Birkbeck students and staff can use many other libraries, both in London and throughout the UK. We are members of various access schemes, some of which are detailed below. Please note:

  • You should always look at the websites of individual libraries before visiting to check opening hours and arrangements for visitors.
  • You will need to show your Birkbeck ID card when you visit another library
  • Birkbeck ID cards do not usually show an expiry date, so you may need additional documentation showing your end of course or end of contract date.
  • Always check joining instructions before you visit in case you need to take additional items such as photographs or proof of address.
  • You are strongly advised to join the SCONUL Access Scheme before visiting other libraries. More details are below.

SCONUL Access Scheme

  • Sconul logo
  • Birkbeck full-time undergraduate students may join the SCONUL Access scheme for reference access only.
  • Birkbeck part-time students, full-time taught postgraduates, research students and staff may borrow from other libraries in the SCONUL Access scheme. The scheme covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland.
  • Certificate of Higher Education students enrolled on a course equal to or greater than 60 CATS points are also eligible to join this scheme.
  • Apply online. A guide on how to apply is available  here.
  • Visiting members, including Be Birkbeck and Third Party Users, are not eligible to join this scheme via Birkbeck.

University of London Access Agreement

  • Birkbeck students can have reference access to other University of London libraries; research students and academic staff can borrow from some institutions.
  • Students may need to take a Certificate of Enrolment showing their course details. Ask at the Student Advice Centre or print from your My Birkbeck profile.
  • Check the University of London website for a list of colleges and institutes. Please note that Senate House Library is excluded from the Agreement.
  • University of London Access Agreement

University of East London (UEL), Stratford campus

  • Birkbeck students enrolled on courses based in Stratford at the University Square Stratford building may use the Birkbeck Collection held in the UEL Library Stratford, and IT facilities and services in the University Square Stratford building.
  • Other Birkbeck students and staff can use UEL Library via the SCONUL Access Scheme

Public Libraries

  • You can join public libraries in the areas where you live, work and study. As a Birkbeck student or member of staff you can join Camden and Westminster public libraries. You may need to provide some form of identification and/or proof of address when you join.  

Libraries in the Bloomsbury area

There are many excellent libraries within easy reach of Birkbeck. The following is a list of the ones most useful to Birkbeck students. Click each entry for links to library catalogues, websites, and information on joining.

British Library

Institute of Education (IoE) UCL

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

School of Advanced Study (SAS)

  • Catalogues | School website
  • The SAS comprises the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Institute of Classical Studies, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Institute of Germanic Studies, Institute of Historical Research, Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Warburg Institute. Each institute may have different arrangements for visitors, so please check before you visit.

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Senate House Library, University of London

  • Catalogue | Library website | Information on joining
  • Senate House Library is a significant research library and has specialist collections in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The cost of membership for all academic staff, and students on some courses, will covered by your School; others can join for a fee.

University College London (UCL)

  • Catalogue | Library website | Information on joining
  • Birkbeck students can register to use UCL Library between 09:30-17:00 Monday to Thursday and 10:00-17:00 on Friday.
  • Academic staff and research postgraduate students are advised to join the SCONUL Access Scheme before visiting UCL Library.
  • Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students should print a copy of their Confirmation of Enrolment from their MyBirkbeck Profile before visiting UCL Library.

University of Westminster

Wellcome Library


Other London libraries

Below are links to some other libraries and archives in London:

Imperial College

London Library

London Metropolitan Archives

National Archives

National Art Library

    Libraries in the UK

    • Archives Hub searches across the archive and manuscript collections in UK Higher Education institutions.
    • COPAC searches the combined catalogues of the UK's major research libraries. Full list of the libraries covered, including Birkbeck.
    • SUNCAT includes journal information from over 60 UK libraries, including the British Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, some of the largest HE institutions in the UK and an increasing number of specialist libraries.
    • UK Higher Education library catalogues via lib-web-cats.
    • Universities UK is an organisation supporting 134 HE institutions in the UK.

    Libraries Worldwide