The Women's Library Reading Room is located on the fourth floor of the Library. It is available for consultation of our special collections, including:
Monday to Friday: 10.30am – 5pm
Saturday (by appointment only): 11am – 6pm
Saturday closure: 12 December to 9 December inclusive
Just email or call us 020 7955 7229 with the details of when you want to visit and what you want to use.
Sign up for membership. In your application include details of when you want to visit and what you want to use.
Organise Library membership if required
Reserve you a space in the reading room
Collect the material you need in advance
Answer any questions
We are happy to accommodate visitors who have not booked ahead but note we may not be able to meet your needs as quickly.
Pencil for taking notes and filling in request slips
Digital camera to make copies
Proof of identity and address if needed for your membership application
Food and drink (inc. water and gum)
Bags and coats should be deposited in one of our lockers when you arrive – please do not bring large items.
Search our catalogues to find out more about the collections that we hold, to identify material that is relevant to your research.
Contact the Library on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7955 7229 if you need assistance identifying material relevant to your research. We will respond to you as soon as possible.
Special collection materials have to be brought from secure storage in our basement. Order up to 3 items in advance by contacting us with the details. We advise that you order material 2 working days in advance of your visit.
If you wish to visit during Saturday opening you must let us know what you need by the Wednesday before as access to the secure store on a Saturday is not possible.
Provide a link to the catalogue entry for the item you wish to request. If you are unable to send a link then provide us with the following information:
File reference (e.g. “HCA/CHE/2/1”, “3AMS/A/01/22”)
Box number (for items from The Women’s Library, as given in the catalogue description)
Please contact us if you need further information on requesting items listed in our catalogues that are not available on the open shelves.
During the week you can ask staff to fetch material for you from the secure store. You can order and use up to 3 items at a time.
Submit your request to Reading Room staff by:
10.45am, 12.45pm, or 2.45pm.
We aim to have materials available within 75 minutes.
Orders placed after 2.45pm will be included in the next day's collection.
Microform copies of Women's Library journals such as: the Autograph Letters collection; the Emily Wilding Davison archive collection; Josephine Butler letter collection; and the Lansbury, Independent Labour Party (ILP) and League of Nations Union (LNU) archive collections are available.
It will be noted on the item or collection’s description page on the catalogue if microform format is available.
Take your own digital photographs of items at no cost. Flash photography and scanners are not permitted.
Make sure your copying is legal by following copyright guidance is available in the Reading Room. Responsibility for infringement of copyright is borne by the person making the copy, and the person (if different) for whom the copy is being made.
See our guide on copying.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 researchers are responsible for the personal data they obtain and the subsequent use they make of it.
See our guide on data protection.
A number of files may be listed on the archives catalogue as closed or unavailable to users. To find out more about these files see our Freedom of Information guidance.