Services for IALS Research Students (MPhil and PhD)

IALS Library contact

Your primary contact in the Library is Hester Swift, the Foreign and International Law Librarian. If you would like a brief library induction, or require advice about using library resources, including databases, please contact Hester. Any questions or suggestions about the library, its services and collections, are also welcome. 

The general library email address is and there is a live chat facility at

Online resources

IALS research students have remote access to the full range of our online resources, comprising thousands of individual e-books and e-journals (via the Catalogue) and numerous wide-ranging online services, such as Westlaw and Lexis®Library (via the Law Databases page). 

Remote login for online resources
ID:  family name
PW: barcode number from your SAS card
Except Westlaw and Practical Law, for which the login is: 
ID: firstname.familyname
PW: your SAS email password



 Further information about accessing online resources is available
 here: Access to library e-resources - SAS students’ guide



Borrowing from IALS Library

IALS research students (MPhil and PhD) are entitled to our most generous borrowing privileges. However, IALS Library is primarily a reference library, so borrowing is limited.

You may borrow:

  • Four books from the main collection, for four weeks. (Please note that this period may be shortened should another reader reserve the book after you have borrowed it.)
  • Three books from the short loan collection, until 10 a.m. the next day (or 11 a.m. if the next day is a Saturday).

Main collection loans can be renewed three times, via the Library Catalogue or by telephone (+44 20 7862 5834 / 5790), as long as no one else has reserved the book. Short loans cannot be renewed in this way, but you can bring short loan books back to the Enquiries Desk to be checked in and checked out again. 

For more information, see the Loans and Renewals page.

Library research carrels

IALS Library research carrels are primarily used by IALS visiting fellows and other visiting academics. However IALS PhD students can use them for daily hire on a “first-come, first-served basis” if there is a vacant carrel available. 

IALS PhD students should ask in person at the Library Admissions Desk each day (before 5 p.m.) to see if a vacant carrel is available for hire that day: The daily hire of an available vacant library research carrel is a free service for IALS PhD students only. 

Using other libraries

PhD research normally involves the use of several different libraries. There are numerous excellent University of London libraries close to IALS and the British Library is not far away.

Senate House and SAS Libraries

IALS Library is part of a group of libraries consisting of Senate House Library itself and the libraries of the institutes of the School of Advanced Study (SAS Libraries):

Your IALS Library card, or "SAS card", admits you to all of these libraries. However, borrowing is only available at Senate House Library and IALS.

Other University of London libraries

You are entitled to reference use of other University of London libraries under the University of London Libraries Access Agreement , on production of your SAS card.

You may borrow from many of these libraries, including SOAS, UCL, the LSE and King's, if you apply under the SCONUL Access scheme (see below.)

You can access online resources at some, but not all, other University of London libraries. Please check with individual libraries for full details.

The British Library

The British Library is fifteen minutes' walk from IALS. Information about the collections and details of how to apply for a reader pass are available on the British Library's website.


If School of Advanced Study (SAS) research students wish to access and borrow from other UK university libraries who are members of the SCONUL Access Scheme, they should:

  • Complete the SCONUL Access application form online:
  • Once your application has been approved, IALS Library will email you to confirm this; please take the confirmation email  and your SAS card to the library you wish to access.

Nearby libraries offering borrowing under SCONUL Access include King's College London, University College London (UCL), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

For further information contact:

Claire Miller
Library Administrative Officer
020 7862 5801

Page last updated: 12th January 2022