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Primary sources

Official publications

Official publications contain a range of information. Since its foundation, the Library has collected material published by governments on a global basis. This information comes in a variety of forms such as reports of working parties, departmental publications and parliamentary papers.

Government documents

The Library is strongest in publications published by the British government and the United States Federal government. Further information is available via the Government Publications page.

The main electronic resources for the above governments are

Intergovernmental organisations

The Library holds specialist status as a European Documentation Centre and as a United Nations depository.

For documents relating to the above collections you may need to use specialist databases such as Europa and AccessUN. Further finding aids are available via the above pages.

There is a large collection of materials published by IGOs held in the Library.


Newspapers form a valuable part of research as they provide a description of events at the time. 

For those researching recent topics, the Library has access to Nexis UK and Factiva. 

  • Nexis UK provides full text access of newpapers and newswire services from around the world.  It includes the full text of UK daily newspapers since 1980.
  • Factiva provides a similar service but with an emphasis on business and trade news.  Only 5 users can be logged in at any one time.

The main historical newspaper resources are:

  • Gale News Vault provides access to a range of newspapers from the 17th century including The Times, Financial Times, Economist and Daily Mail.  These can also be search individually.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers provides full text access to the Guardian 1821-2003 and the Observer 1791-2003

LSE Library's Delicious pages contain links to some freely available news sources.

Archives and special collections

Archives and special collections form a major part of historical research to which the Women's Library @ LSE makes a contribution and can be used to gain insights about current topics. 

A selection of material from both collections is available via the LSE Digital Library.