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The Women's Library

About The Women's Library collection

The Women’s Library documents all aspects of women’s lives, with an emphasis on women in the UK throughout the great political, economic and social changes of the past 150 years.

It includes 60,000 books and pamphlets, 3,000 journal titles, over 500 archives and 5,000 museum objects, including photographs, posters, badges and banners.

Use Library Search to locate the books. These can also be browsed on the 3rd floor.

Search The Women's Library archive catalogue for archives and museum objects. 

Accessing The Women's Library collections

The Women's Library Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of the Library.

LSE Library card holders can visit to arrange access to materials. You can also order in advance by emailing us your requirements.

If you do not have a membership card you can apply for one on our membership pages.

Read more about how to order material and access the reading room.

Planning your visit

We recommend that before you visit you should:

  • Consult the online catalogues to identify what you need
  • Ask us for any advice
  • Tell us when you are visiting and what you want to use

Many of the items you might need are held in secure storage and take time to be retrieved for use. Get in touch with us as early as you can so we can ensure your visit is as useful as possible.

Online collections

35 rare books and 300 items from the 16th Century to the present day are available on the Digital Library. This resource is a representative sample of the collection.

Some of the photo collections are available in high resolution and ready for download from Flickr in The Women's Library album.

Women’s Walks, an iOS app that enables you to engage with archive materials from women’s history on a tour of London streets. Download from the iTunes app store.

Support The Women's Library

Philanthropic support has played an important role in the evolution of the collection, and The Women’s Library continues to welcome such support for the maintenance, conservation and exhibition of these collections.

Gifts made in support of The Women’s Library have a real impact, furthering a range of activities which serve to strengthen the collection, including conservation and preservation of important archival material; building and cataloguing of the collections; and increasing public access through education and outreach.

Please see the Support The Women's Library page for details on different ways in which you can help.

The Friends of The Women's Library

The Friends are an independent organisation of supporters of the Women's Library. Please see their website for further details of activities and membership.