We can help Imperial staff and students visit and use other libraries through our membership of the SCONUL Access Scheme and other specific agreements.

What are you looking for?

Search for books and journals across over 70 UK and Irish academic, national and specialist libraries with Copac

Search for journal titles across over 80 UK libraries with SUNCAT

Search for books and journals in London and the South East with Search25

Where do you want to go?

You are advised to check opening hours and any ID you will need before visiting.

Visitor access to online resources is not always available - you may be able to access Imperial’s online resources via eduroam.

Where do you want to go?

UK university libraries

Most university libraries are members of the SCONUL Access Scheme. Using another library often depends on your level of study or the access arrangements of individual libraries.

Imperial undergraduates and taught postgraduates

You can apply for reference membership of other university libraries during Christmas and summer vacations only - contact the library you wish to visit for further information.

You will need to show your Imperial College ID card and some proof of your home address. For admission at other times and for any other registration requirements, check the library’s visitor policy.

Imperial research postgraduates and academic staff

You may register as an external borrower at SCONUL member libraries.

To register, complete the application form on the SCONUL website, indicating which library you intend to visit.

Once your application has been accepted you will receive a confirmation email. Take a copy of this email to the library you wish to visit along with your College card and any other information they require e.g. proof of address, passport sized photograph (this information will be available on their website).  

Your membership of the SCONUL access scheme is valid until your College card expires. For staff whose College card will not expire, membership is valid for 3 years but can be renewed upon request.

Senate House Library

Imperial students on MSc Science Communication and MSc Science Media Production courses may apply for access to the University of London Senate House Library.

Complete an Application for Senate House Library membership (pdf) and have it validated at the Central Library Information Hub.

The British Library

The largest collection of scientific information in London is held in the British Library at St Pancras, reference access only, but items may be borrowed via our Document Delivery Service.

Anyone with a valid research need can visit and join the British Library:

  • To use the Reading Rooms and the physical/electronic collections you require a Reader Pass. You will be expected to provide proof of identity and a list of specific resources you wish to view.
  • Most physical items are not on open access and must be ordered to view them. If you pre-register online for your Reader Pass you can save time by ordering items in advance of your first visit.
  • For PhD researchers the BL offers a series of popular Doctoral Open Day events such as networking opportunities and workshops - keep an eye on the BL events calendar to secure a place.

Search the British Library catalogue

Another hospital library

These hospitals offer library services to Imperial students on a clinical attachment.

Register with the library at your hospital.