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Library Services



SSEES History

Books and e-books

Unlike many libraries, UCL SSEES Library does not have one section designated as a history collection. Instead the primary division for arranging books is by country and then within that section by topic. As a result UCL SSEES Library has more than two dozens of historical sections spread over all floors of the Library. However it is very easy to find particular historical collections.

The majority of our books are available in printed form and are located on the open shelves. There is an increasing number of e-books, particularly English language materials. Almost all of our books and e-books can be found in Explore, our library catalogue.

There is a relatively small number of older books that remain accessible via the card catalogue only. These are mainly related to Russia and South-East Europe. The card catalogue can be found on the second floor of the Library.

Please also note that in addition to books on the open shelves the Library also holds pamphlets, rare books and store items. These materials are not on open shelves and will need to be requested. For information on how to find and request them, please see our stores service page.

How to find a book at UCL SSEES Library

For example, a book on Russian history would be found in a sequence of other books relating to various aspects of Russian studies. The first element of the classification is an alphabetical mnemonic for the country – for Russia this is the letter “R”. This is followed by Roman numerals – the classification for history is “IX” and will be followed by further subdivisions to describe different historical periods. The pattern is similar for other countries: P.IX is the section for Polish history, H.IX for Hungarian history, and so on. To find physical location of a particular collection, please check our self-guided tour of UCL SSEES Library. More information about our classification scheme can be found on our dedicated Library page.

Other collections

  • Art includes Film Studies.
  • Hebrew & Jewish Studies: covers all aspects of Jewish history, languages, literature and culture.
  • History: for individual European countries' political, social and economic history and the Latin American History collection for extensive coverage of Latin American social, political and economic history.
  • Literature: includes books on literary topics not specific to any one language, literary theory, literature translated into English.
  • Philosophy: books and periodicals on European philosophy.
  • Geography. There are sections on physical geography, human geography and material relating to specific countries.
  • The British Library holds one of the leading research collections in the world for the study of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the former USSR.
  • The Senate House Library holds collections specialising in the arts, literature, the humanities and social sciences.