Student sitting on the comfy chairs


Learn how to find the books you need for your studies. 

Book collections at LSE Library

As an LSE student or member of staff you can borrow books from most Library collections. You can renew or request books online using your LSE login

Use the self-service machines on the ground floor to borrow or return items.

Course Collection (1st floor)

In the Course Collection you will find copies of the essential books on your reading lists. You can borrow these books for at least 3 days.

Main Collection

In the Main Collection you will find our research collections and background readings from your reading lists. You can borrow these books for 90 days (7 days if requested by someone else). 


Finding the location of a book

1. Use Library Search to search for the title or author of your book.

2. Note the collection and classmark (eg: Course Collection Books HV7921 C65).

3. Use the maps in the Library and the book's classmark to find the item. 


Finding your way around the Library

Browse the Library floor plans [PDF] to check where each collection is kept and the location of each classmark. Maps are available throughout the building on each floor. If you need any help, go to the desk on the ground floor.


Finding books beyond LSE Library

You can search library catalogues from all over the world to identify material you might need for your research.

  • Library Hub is a database of UK and Irish academic, national and specialist library catalogues.

If you can't get to the holding Library, then you can request items via our Interlending services.

As an LSE student you will be able to use most other libraries of the University of London. Find out more about using other libraries.


Specialist dictionaries and encyclopedia

Useful for quickly checking definitions, summaries of theories and thinkers.

  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Authoritative guide to the history of the English language. 
  • Oxford Reference Online. English and foreign language dictionaries, specialist works on social policy, social care and philosophy. 
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Biographical information on over 50,000 men and women who have shaped the history of the UK. 
  • Who's Who. Biographies of over 35,000 people who are influential in the UK from 1897 to the present day. These include politicians, judges and celebrities. 

There are many other books in the Library which will be useful for your research. To locate these enter keywords in Library Search.

Get further help

If you need any further help then please contact us or visit one of the service desks. Staff are available during office hours to help you find material or answer any other queries you have.

Find out more