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How to contact us

For general help using the Library services:


Email us: library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk|

Call us: +44 (0) 20 7955 7229


or in person throughout the Library




Reading Room Access

Reading Room

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

It is available for consultation of the Library's Special Collections|, including LSE Archives|, The Women’s Library|, print collections, and pamphlets| and rare books|.

Opening hours

  • Mondays - Fridays: 10.30am-5pm
  • Saturdays: 11.00am-6pm (from 3 May 2014)

To enable secure care of the collections readers must return materials to the desk 30 minutes before closing time.

Before you visit

We ask readers to book a study space two days in advance of your visit. This enables us to support your visit by booking a reader seat, reserving the materials you wish to consult and dealing with any queries you have ahead of your visit.

We are happy to accommodate visitors who have not booked ahead but you may have to wait for a study space to become available and for the materials you want to consult to be brought to the Reading Room.

 What to bring

  • Pencil for taking notes and filling in request slips
  • Digital camera to make copies for research
  • Laptop or tablet PC if needed
  • Notebook

Some items cannot be brought into the Reading Room:

  • Food and drink (including water and chewing gum)
  • Pens
  • Handheld scanners
  • Library or purchased books and other publications

You will be asked to deposit bags and coats in a locker – please do not bring large items as space is limited.

Beginning your research

Search our catalogues to find out more about the collections that we hold to identify material that is relevant to your research.

Search the main Library catalogue| for information about books, journals and pamphlets.

Search The Women's Library @ LSE archives catalogue| for information about TWL@LSE archive collections and museum objects. Search the main archives catalogue| for information about other archive collections at LSE.

The Digital Library| includes a range of digitised material from our special collections.

You may also find the Library’s collections pages| useful: these include information on our unique and distinctive collections as well as a range of subject and topic guides.

Please contact the Library by email on library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk| or by telephone on 020 7955 7229 if you would like assistance identifying material that may be relevant to your particular area of research. In order to make the most of your time at the Library, we recommend that you wait for a response before arranging a visit so that you have time to follow up any suggestions that we might make.

Booking a place

Contact the Library by email on library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk| or by telephone on 020 7955 7229 at least two working days in advance of your visit so that we can confirm your booking and arrange for collection materials to be waiting for you on arrival. If you are unsure of the materials you need you can also ask for advice.

The Library can advise you on our holdings and direct you to collections and catalogues that are relevant to your subject area, but we are unable to examine files in detail or undertake research for readers.

Library membership

You will need to join LSE Library to visit The Women's Library Reading Room. Details of how to register for membership are on the Library's Membership| pages.

Ordering materials in advance

Special collection materials have to be brought to the Reading Room from store. In order to support your visit we ask that you order the materials you wish to consult in advance of your visit. You can order up to 3 items to be fetched from the store in time for your visit.

Place your request by email to
library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk| no later than 5pm, 2 working days before you have booked to visit:








Order by 5pm







Please let us know your name and the day you wish to visit.

If possible please provide a link to the catalogue entry for the item you wish to request. If you are unable to send a link to our catalogue, we will need the following information:

For print material:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Classmark
  • Location (as given on the catalogue record, e.g. “Archives – WL Pamphlet”)
  • For periodicals or other multi-part items, the volumes or issues required

For archive material:

  • File reference (e.g. “HCA/CHE/2/1”, “3AMS/A/01/22”)
  • Box number (for items from The Women’s Library @ LSE collections, as given in the catalogue description)

Please contact us if you need further information on requesting items from the catalogues.

Items ordered in advance which are not collected will be reshelved at the end of the day unless we receive a request to put them on hold.

During your visit

On weekdays items can be requested in person using our fetch service. You can order and use up to 3 items at a time, and place further orders when you are ready for more material.

Requests must be submitted by:

10.45am, 12.45pm, or 2.45pm

We aim to have materials delivered to the Reading Room within 75 minutes of the above times.

Orders placed after 2.45pm will be available the following day, as part of the first delivery.

Items ordered but not collected will be reshelved, unless you let us know that you would like them put on hold.

Placing items on hold

Items can be held for 2 working days, but if you will be returning at a later date please keep a note of your references, and reorder your items in time for your next visit.


Users can take their own digital photographs of items at no cost.

However, make sure your copying is legal. Copyright guidance is available on the Reading Room desks and on posters.

Responsibility for any infringement of copyright is borne by the person making the copy, and the person (if different) for whom the copy is being made.

Cameras must be in silent mode, as shutter sounds can disturb other users. Flash photography, tripods and handheld scanners are not permitted.

For further information on copying materials, please use this guide.|

Closed files

A number of files may be listed on the archives catalogue as closed or unavailable to users. To find out more about these files and how to request access to them please see our Freedom of Information guidance|.