Senate House LIbrary

Link to web resource


Senate House Library is the central Library of the University of London and the home library for the School of Advanced Study. It has a rich history at the heart of the University and London’s student and research community.

The Library moved to its current location at Senate House, the home of the University, in 1937. Visit the University of London’s website to learn more about its history.

21st Century

In 2011 the University of London completed a large scale refurbishment of the Library spaces at Senate House.

20th Century

Senate House during construction (1937).

Senate House during construction (1937).

  • In the 1980s the Library focused on the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • The University of London opened a co-operative depository store in Egham, Surrey in 1961.
  • In the 1950′s the Sterling Library was gifted to Senate House Library.
  • The Harry Price Library of Magical Literature was gifted to the Library in 1948.
  • During the Second World War the Ministry of Information occupied Senate House. The Library was closed to most personal users.
  • The Library moved into the newly built Senate House in Bloomsbury (1937).
  • The Durning-Lawrence Library was gifted to the Library in 1929. The music library opened in 1926, complete with a pianola and gramophone.
  • In 1910 a large proportion of the London Institution’s 150,000 volumes were gifted to the Library.
  • The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths doubled the University Library’s holdings in 1903 by gifting to it the Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature. This led to the appointment of the central University’s first dedicated librarian.
  • In 1900 the Library moved, along with the rest of the Central University, to the Imperial Institute in South Kensington.
The Library at Burlington Gardens (1890s).

The Library at Burlington Gardens (1890s).

19th Century

  • In 1872 the Liberal M.P. Julian Goldsmid gave the University £1,000 to buy Classical books. The Library received its two founding collections (about 9,000 titles): the De Morgan Library, purchased for the University by Samuel Loyd, Baron Overstone, and the library of the Classical historian and University Vice-Chancellor George Grote.
  • In 1870 the University and the Library moved into its first purpose-built accommodation in Burlington Gardens, Piccadilly.
  • In 1838, two years after the University of London was founded, the Library received its first books.
  • The University of London was founded in 1836.


University of London Research Library Humanities SCONUL special collections

Added on 03/11/2014 20:21:10

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