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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

The Reading Room desk

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: 

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday:                                        10.30am – 5pm
  • Saturday (by appointment only):                  11am – 6pm
  • Saturday closure: 12 December to 9 December inclusive 

Already got a Library card?

Just email or call us 020 7955 7229 with the details of when you want to visit and what you want to use.

Not got a Library card?

Sign up for membership. In your application include details of when you want to visit and what you want to use.

We will:

  • 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.

What to bring

  • 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 

What not to bring

  • Food and drink (inc. water and gum)
  • Pens

Bags and coats should be deposited in one of our lockers when you arrive – please do not bring large items.

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.

Contact the Library on library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk  or 020 7955 7229 if you need assistance identifying material relevant to your research. We will respond to you as soon as possible. 

Ordering materials in advance

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.

Ordering materials on the day

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 access

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.

Data Protection guidance

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.

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 see our Freedom of Information guidance.