Category Archives: Library

Visit to University of London depository library

Michael Townsend (collections librarian) and I went to visit the University depository library in Egham, to meet the staff there and see where the IHR offsite store books are now located. The library is in a really nice location, on the edge of the Royal Holloway campus. The staff at the depository, Katriona and Pete, have done a fantastic job getting used to the IHR’s (often unlabelled) collections. We’ve been really impressed by how efficient the delivery service has been – we sometimes send an order first thing in the morning and unpack them a couple of hours later when the daily van arrives. It is best to give us 1-2 days notice, and items can be ordered in person, by phone or email. (020 7862 8760 or

Kate Wilcox (Reader and Technical Services Librarian)

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Additional material added to library open access collections

As pockets of space have become available, we have been able to bring some selected material back onto open access. These have been selected based on reader feedback, frequency of requests and availability of space in suitable locations. We’ve chosen not to include some material due to its availability online or locally within Senate House Library – please ask if you’d like advice on accessing anything that falls into these categories.

  • A selection of material from B.05 classmark (manuscript catalogues)
  • Papal Registers (folio shelving at one end of large reading room 314)
  • Gallia Christiana (folio shelving at one end of large reading room 314)
  • Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France (folio shelving at one end of large reading room 314)
  • Monumenta Germaniae Historica (library office corridor)
  • Some Record Commission British medieval history folios, e.g. Tower of London rolls, Valor Ecclesiasticus (in room 303)
  • List and Index Society (library office corridor)
  • English place name society (quick reference section, library office corridor)
  • Archives parlementaires de 1787 à 1860 Series 1 (folio shelving at one end of large reading room 314)
  • Selected Crusades folios (with Crusades collection outside library office)
  • Some individual items have also been added into the quick reference section in the corridor adjacent to the library enquiry office.

If you have any comments or queries please contact us at or 020 7862 8760.

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IHR Library reopens

The IHR Library reopened on the 3rd floor of the Senate House South Block on 3rd August, as planned.  During the move process extra space for books became available.  This meant that the Welsh, Byzantine and main Spanish collections were added to the material available on open access.

Books and journals are now held in three locations – open access, onsite store and offsite store.  The online catalogue clearly indicates where individual items are held.  An overview of which collections are located where can also be found here: and on noticeboards in the Library.  Items marked onsite store can be requested in person, by phone or email.  Request forms can be handed in at the library enquiry office or reception. Fetches will be carried out at 9am, 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm on weekdays and 2pm on Saturdays.  Items marked offsite store will be available within 1-2 working days by pre-ordering in person, by phone or email.

As before, the Library has desks, computer, microform and printing facilities, and also now has the benefit of being located in an area which has been recently refurbished.  IHR reception staff continue to be present at the entrance, which is now shared with the Institute of Classical Studies Library.

We expect to operate in this location for the next two academic years, during which time the IHR’s North Block home will undergo a long overdue full rewire and refurbishment.

If you have any questions or queries please contact us on or on 020 7862 8760.

We look forward to seeing you in our new premises.


Jennifer Higham

IHR Librarian

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IHR relocation update


The IHR library will be closing from Thursday 28th July 2011 until Wednesday 3rd of August when it will open in its new location in the south block.  The opening hours remain the same as they are now.  Both the new IHR reception area and the Library will be staffed from 3 August.  The remainder of the staff will move in the weeks following.

The IHR North block will continue to be open with a staffed reception desk but without the library throughout this period.  However, from Wednesday 3rd August and until we have moved all the remaining staff (which we estimate will be completed by August 19th), we will be open to the public at 9am and will close at 18.30 each evening.

Thank you for bearing with us during this turbulent period.

Elaine Walters

Institute Manager

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Library move starting today

The move of the library collections going into closed access will start today. As this affects material on all floors there is likely to be alot of disruption and the lift will be difficult to access. The move of the collections remaining on open access is expected to begin from Tuesday 26th July and as previously announced the library will close completely between 28th July and 2nd August. Details of new locations of the collections are available here:

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Library closure dates (update)

There has been a slight change to the IHR Library closures this summer since our previous announcement.  It is now planned that the IHR Library will be closed from Thursday 28 July to Tuesday 2 August inclusive.

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IHR Library move schedule now finalised

The schedule detailing which parts of the Library collections will move when has now been agreed.

The timing of the collection moves is dependent on each book’s final location.  A list of these can be found here:

The moves will begin on the 19th July.  Two teams of removal men will be working concurrently between the 19th July and 1st August, when the move is expected to finish.  Because of this the IHR lift is likely to be in heavy use and all areas of the Institute will be subject to disruption and possibly restrictions on access.

The schedule is as follows:

Material to Offsite Store:                                   July 19th-22nd

Material to Onsite Store:                                   July 19th-29th

Material to 3rd Floor Open Access IHR:    July 25th-August 1st

It is currently anticipated that the IHR Library will be closed on Saturday 30th July and Monday 1st and 2nd August.  We hope to reopen on the 3rd August with a full service, though please bear with us at first as it is likely we will still have work to do on library signage. 

The Reception staff will be moving with the Library to the 3rd floor South Block. The rest of the IHR will be joining the Library and Library and Reception staff later in August.

Update: The IHR Library will now be closed from Thursday 28th July to Tuesday 2nd August inclusive.


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Latest information on library arrangements during relocation

During the two year period of relocation to the 3rd floor of the South Block, one-third of the IHR Library will remain on open access. Much of the remainder of the collection will be housed in the Senate House Tower, and the rest will be in offsite storage in Egham, both available through a fetch service. The Location of library collections following the move are now available on the IHR website.

Ordering and consultation arrangements for materials in the closed stacks

The IHR library staff will administer a dedicated fetch service for the items stored in the tower. Items stored offsite at the depository can be delivered within 1-2 working days. Library staff will aim to ensure the service is as responsive to demand as possible, and requests for material can be made in person, via telephone or email. Please note that due to staffing restrictions it will not always be possible for material to be fetched outside the core hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The Library would strongly encourage those wishing to request closed access material to contact the Library in advance of their visit wherever possible, so we can ensure material is waiting on arrival. In addition, material can be kept out for readers who wish to consult closed access items over a longer period. As is the case currently, library staff will work in an accessible enquiry office throughout library opening hours, ensuring continuity of service to readers.

Reader facilities

The current IHR photocopiers and microform reader/printer will be available in the temporary location, in addition to reader desks, catalogues terminals and PCs.

Opening hours

The IHR Library will maintain its current opening hours in the temporary location.  However, please be aware that there will be periods where some or all of the collections will be inaccessible while the move is taking place. The move is expected to start from 15th July and we are likely to be completely closed from 29 July to 2 August, reopening in the new location on 3rd August.

If  you have any queries or feedback, please contact either the Librarian Jennifer Higham /020 7862 8769, or the Library Staff office /020 7862 8760.

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A sneak preview of the Library’s new accommodation

Author: Jennifer Higham (IHR Librarian)

From the beginning of August 2011 the IHR Library will be open in its new temporary home on the 3rd floor of the south block of Senate House.

We thought it would be helpful to use this blog to provide a preview of what to expect after the move.  Currently the space is occupied by the Senate House Library periodicals collection, which is what can be seen in the photographs. There is also a floorplan available.

On exiting the lift on the 3rd floor, readers will come face to face with the new IHR Reception desk, which will be shared between IHR Reception staff and the library staff of the Institute of Classical Studies, which occupies the remainder of the space on this floor.  The IHR Reception will be staffed as currently and will continue to perform its full range of functions.

 One major difference will be fact that the Library, as well as both the Library and administrative staff, will all be located on one floor. The IHR will occupy an inverted U-shaped space based around 3 corridors, with the first 2 sides being library shelving, reader places and computing facilities. On entering through the turnstiles, the photocopiers will be located in a room behind the Reception desk.  Although the Library will consist of a series of rooms, these won’t necessarily be allocated to particular subject collections.  Following on from a large reading room with roller shelving, the next corridor will contain the current issues of periodicals.  The offices of those staff currently working on the ground floor of the IHR, including the Administrator Elaine Walters, will also be located here, as will the IHR Director Professor Miles Taylor.  The Library Staff Office will be at the end of this corridor and will operate on the same basis as currently.

 Because of the need to place books and journals in closed access storage during this time, the Library staff will also be operating a request and fetch service from the office. Further details will be provided in due course.

The Library will continue to be open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 8.45pm, and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5.15pm.

 If you have any queries or feedback, please contact either the Librarian Jennifer Higham /020 7862 8769, or the Library Staff office /020 7862 8760.

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IHR book sale

16 June 2011 – 18 June 2011

The imminent relocation of the IHR seemed like a good opportunity for a spring cleaning of our publications store.  We will not have enough room to house all of our books in our temporary space over in Senate House South, so we will be selling some of our stock – at discounted prices – in the IHR book sale, taking place from Thursday 16 June – Saturday 18 June.

Books on sale will include Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae  (, Office Holders in Modern Britain ( and the beautiful VCH red volumes, as featured in our previous post.

The Friends of the IHR have organised the sale of new and second-hand books, which will also include other publications of the IHR, the London Record Society, the Monumental Brass Society and books from the libraries of FML Thompson, Jane Martindale, Linda Clarke and Caroline Barron among others.  Come along to the IHR Common Room at the following times to snap up a bargain:

Thursday 16 June: 11.00am-8.30pm
Friday June: 11.00am-8.30pm
Saturday 18 June: 11.00am-4.30pm

Refreshments will be available all day and there will also be a wine sale on Saturday 18 June.

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