LSE Library was founded shortly after the School itself in 1896, as the British Library of Political and Economic Science with the aim of systematically collecting all available material from around the world on the subjects studied by the School.
The Library’s collection currently contains over four million separate items, including rare books, unique archives, photographs, campaigning objects such as badges, posters and pamphlets, as well as the extensive electronic research collections required of a modern international research library.
The Library’s collection is international in coverage and has particular strengths in government and official publications, data and statistical materials. Its importance has been recognised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which provides funding as one of only five National Research Libraries in the UK. The Library collection carries Designated status as being of outstanding national and international importance, a designation administered by the Arts Council England.