Libraries and Archives

Both Columbia University and the London School of Economics are home to two of the most extensive library systems in the world. In addition to the campus libraries, New York City and London offer a wealth of archives for additional research opportunities. We also encourage students to explore archives more broadly across the United States, United Kingdom, and continental Europe, and have provided a list of featured archives to help jumpstart your research.

Columbia Libraries

The library services at Columbia University are ranked in the top five in the United States. At Columbia, students have twenty-two libraries at their disposal, including over 12 million volumes, over 160,000 current journals and serials, and an extensive collection of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audiovisual materials.

Columbia Students have borrowing privileges from other Ivy League universities through Borrow Direct, as well as libraries world-wide with Inter Library Loan. Students who have applied for a SHARES card have additional reading privileges at over 100 top-rated university libraries in New York and across the world.

Columbia Libraries provide research support, including a vast array of classes and instructional workshops throughout the year. Students additionally have access to the extensive services of the Digital Humanities Center (DHC), which supports researchers working with digital texts, still and moving images, and other materials. The DHC has machine-readable primary source texts, software programs for textual analysis and critical editing, database research tools in the humanities, bibliographic database management programs, IBM and Macintosh microcomputers, and optical scanning equipment for the creation of machine-readable text.

As dual Master’s students continue on to LSE in the second year of their graduate studies, they maintain full access to Columbia's e-journals, e-books and online databases.

LSE Libraries

The LSE Library (also known as the British Library of Political & Economic Science) is one of the largest libraries in the world devoted to the economic and social sciences. It is both the working Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science and a national research center. Accordingly, all collections held at the LSE Library have been recognized for their outstanding national and international importance and awarded ‘Designation’ status by the UK Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

In addition to the Main Collection, the Library has a separate Course Collection with multiple copies of key reading list texts. With the Course Collection, many students are able to complete their education at LSE without ever needing to purchase an academic book.

In addition to research material, LSE library offers an array of electronic and digital resources, which includes material specific to students of international history. Students are also welcome to sign up for information skills training sessions, or seek personal research assistance.

As LSE is a former constituent part of the University of London, dual degree students have additional borrowing privileges at the Senate House Library and reading privileges at 19 other colleges within the University of London network. Books that are not available through the University of London libraries can generally be obtained through the Inter-Library Lending system, to which LSE subscribes.

Less than a mile away, the British Library is another resource within easy walking distance of the LSE campus. The British Library receives a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland and holds over 150 million items, in most known languages. Although visitors cannot check out books from the British Library, there is on-site reading space available for over 1,200 readers.


Featured Archives in London

The British Library 
The British Museum 
Imperial War Museum 
International Maritime Organization 
Lloyds Banking Group 
Kings College 
National Archives at Kew 
National Maritime Museum 
Port of London Authority Archives 
Royal Air Force Museum 
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 
Royal Geographical Society 
Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House Library 
Senate House Library 
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) 
Tate Collection 
University College London 
Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine 

Featured Archives in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Cambridge University 
Churchill Archives Center 
National Archives of Scotland 
National Library of Scotland 
National Library of Wales 
National Archives of Ireland 
University of Oxford 

To find additional archives in the UK and Ireland, we recommend searching Archive Hub

Featured Archives in Europe

Council of Europe, Strasbourg
Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome
European Commission, Brussels
European Parliament, Luxembourg
Historical Archives of the European Communities, Florence
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna
International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva
International Court of Justice, The Hague
International Labour Organization, Geneva
International Telecommunication Union, Geneva
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg
League of Nations Archives and Museums, Geneva
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Brussels
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris
World Health Organization, Geneva
World Trade Organization, Geneva