Using Other Libraries

Bound Vogue's, Library Services, University of the Arts, by Ryan Harding, 2012

London is rich in libraries and archives that can offer additional assistance in research. There are also many resources held elsewhere in the UK, and the rest of the world, which are now accessible online. A selection of some of the most useful external libraries and resources are presented here

Access Schemes

Library Services Alumni Members

Students who have completed a course of one year or more, and staff who have been employed for a period of one academic year or longer at a constituent college of University of the Arts London, can have reference access to all UAL libraries. 

To register as an Alumni please contact the Alumni Association co-ordinator for University of the Arts London on 020 7514 8505 or email Once registered you may apply for a card to access the libraries by submitting a form online or by downloading an alumni library registration form below. You will need your Alumni registration number and a photo for ID.

Alumni Registration Form 2018 (PDF 55KB)

Services: Reference access to all UAL libraries. No access to networked databases or other IT facilities.

Access Arrangements: Once registered please phone the appropriate library 24 hours in advance for an appointment. Visit the alumni section of the website for contact details.

SCONUL Access scheme

SCONUL Access scheme allows students and staff studying and researching in higher education in the UK and Ireland access to 170 academic libraries in the UK and Ireland.

SCONUL Access enables staff, research students, full time postgraduates and part-time, distance and placement students, to borrow from other libraries and enables full-time undergraduate students reference access to participating libraries. SCONUL Access does not provide rights to computer facilities, databases or electronic journals and resources.

If you wish to join the SCONUL Access scheme, please ask for details at your home library. For further information about the scheme and the participating libraries please check the SCONUL Access website.


Access25 is the M25 Consortium’s scheme that allows mutual access to the teaching and research collections at more than 50 libraries in London and south east England.

Postgraduate research students and staff in the member libraries of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries are eligible to join the scheme.

For further information, please check the Access25 website.

Libraries in London

The British Library

Access to the British Library catalogues, and information on all the British Library collections including the National Sound Archives, the Newspaper Library, the Science Reference and Humanities Reading Rooms and the Document Supply service. Direct access is also available to the BL Integrated Catalogue.

Students at University of the Arts London can apply for a reader's pass by taking proof of home address (utility bill, bank statement or national identity card), proof of signature (credit card, passport or driving licence) and university ID card to the Reader Registration Office. Alternatively students can apply by post, using the admission form.

The British Library Reading Rooms can get very busy. Please remember to check the holdings of our own College libraries before going to the British Library.

British Film Institute

BFI library information page.

British Universities Film & Video Council

Home page of BUFVC listing services, research facilities, news and publications.

City of London Libraries 

Barbican, Camomile Street, City Business, Guildhall and Shoe Lane Libraries. 

Courtauld Institute of Art Library

Information about the Courtauld collections and access to the online catalogue is available at the Courtauld website.

Crafts Council

Follow the link for the Crafts Council website for Professional Development to gain access to information on the library, photo archive, and other resources for and about craftspeople in the UK.

German Historical Institute London

The German Historical Institute London holds collections in both German and English on German history with particular emphasis on Anglo-German relations and the period 1933 - 1945. Free access but a photo and ID are required.

Goethe Institute

The Goethe Institute is a large library with collections on German life and culture is freely available. The main subject areas in stock are German language and literature, contemporary art, film, theatre and dance, as well as German history, politics and economics since 1945. Online OPAC. 

Horniman Museum

The Horniman Library is a specialist library which is open to the general public, without appointment, for reference use. It provides information on the three subject areas of the Horniman: Ethnography, Natural History and Musical Instruments. Follow the link for Horniman Services to gain information on access.

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum Collections include art, photographs, film, documents and printed publications. Visits should be made by appointment.


InIVA is a reference library that focuses on contemporary art from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the work of British artists from different cultural backgrounds. UAL libraries each have a membership and visitors just need to present their ID card.

Institute of Education

The Institute of Education has information and access to OPACs.

Lambeth Palace Library

Lambeth Palace Library is the historic library of the archbishops of Canterbury and the principal library and record office for the history of the Church of England. Founded as a public library in 1610 and freely accessible to the public ever since.


Search25 helps you discover library resources across London and the South East. You can also see where the libraries are and find out how to visit them.

Public Libraries

Public libraries offer a wide range of resources and special collections.

UK Public Library Dataset contains contact information and a unique identifier for over 4000 UK Public Library branches and is published by Collections Trust on 

The London Library

The London Library is an independent subscription library founded in 1841. The London Library online Catalogue can be found here.

National Art library

The National Art Library is the reference library of the V&A, the National Museum of Art & Design.

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum has an online Centre for Research with access to pictures, charts, maps, films and the library catalogue. Follow the link for collections and research.

Natural History Museum library

Online access to the extensive holdings of the Natural History Museum's library which covers earth sciences, botany, zoology, natural history and the environment.

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Information on the Library, forthcoming events and lectures is available on the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art website.

Poetry Library

Containing about 80,000 volumes, the Poetry Library aims to stock all poetry published in the UK since about 1912, as well as a wide selection of international work in English.


Royal Institute of British Architects library information page. Now includes online access to RIBA's library catalogue and index of Architectural articles.

Science Museum library

The Science Museum library is an excellent collection covering all aspects of science and technology.

St. Bride Printing Library

St Bride Printing Library's world-famous collections cover printing and related subjects: paper and binding, graphic design and typography, typefaces and calligraphy, illustration and printmaking, publishing and book-selling, the social and economic aspects of the printing, book, newspaper and magazine trades. The Library is open to the public free of charge, without formality. Photocopies can be supplied, and photography is permitted by appointment.

Tate Library

The Tate Library broadly covers those areas in which Tate collects: all aspects of British, modern and contemporary art. This link takes you to the online Research page with information on the archives and other study resources. Limited access by appointment only.

Wellcome Institute for Medicine

Library information and access to catalogue. Also has extensive photographic and video collections, plus a full exhibition programme is available at the Welcome Institute for Medicine website.

Westminster Libraries

Includes information about access and collections including the Art & Design Collection of Westminster Reference Library, Orange Street.

The Women's Library

The Women's Library, formerly known as the Fawcett Library has information and access to catalogue available on the website.

Other information services


AIM25 is a major project to provide electronic access to collection level descriptions of the archives of over fifty higher education institutions and learned societies within the greater London area.

Archive of Art and Design

The Archive of Art and Design (AAD) was established in 1978 to house the Victoria and Albert Museum's growing holdings of collected archival material. It collects, conserves and makes available for research the archives of individuals, associations, and companies involved in any stage of the art and design process, including collections that have been used or built up by artists and designers in the course of their work. Particular emphasis is placed on the records of British twentieth- and twenty-first-century design. N.B. not located at South Kensington, call to make an appointment.

Artists' Papers Register

A computerised register of papers and primary sources relating to artists, designers and craftspeople located in publicly accessible collections in the United Kingdom. 

London Metropolitan Archives

London Metropolitan Archives holds archives relating to all aspects of London Life. It currently also houses the records of the City of London Corporation. The collections cover almost a thousand years of history from our earliest document of 1067 to the present day, and are essential for anyone interested in the history of London and Londoners.

National Archives

The National Archives, which covers England, Wales and the United Kingdom, was formed in April 2003 by bringing together the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission. It is responsible for looking after the records of central government and the courts of law, and making sure everyone can look at them. The collection is one of the largest in the world and spans an unbroken period from the 11th century to the present day.

National Archives of Scotland

Information on the many collections and services are available through the National Archives of Scotland.

National Portrait Gallery

Heinz library and archive information page are available through the National Portrait Gallery.

UK Higher Education Archive Hub

Search descriptions of the archives housed at the represented institutions are available at the Archives Hub.