Searching other libraries

If you are conducting specialist research, you may need to consult other libraries to find the resources you need.


To find out which library has the item you need, useful catalogues to search include:

  • Search25. The Search25 catalogue enables you to search across the catalogues of academic libraries in and around London. You can also search within the catalogues of combinations of libraries of your choice.
  • Copac. The Copac catalogue searches many of the major University, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. This is useful not only for locating specific items, but for identifying other books in your research area.

  • Explore the British Library. A record of the majority of the books, journals and other material stocked in the British Library. As the British Library is the copyright library for the UK the collection is very comprehensive.

  • SUNCAT. The Serials Union Catalogue for the UK research community lets you know which library in the UK stocks a particular journal. 

Depending on the level you are studying or researching at, you may not have access to all the university libraries listed in the results of a search on Search25 or Copac. Find out about Access to other libraries before making a visit.

Public libraries

You can use any public library for reference purposes. You will usually only be able to set up an account and borrow books if you live, work or study in or near the borough in which the library is located.

  • Hillingdon libraries. Joining Hillingdon libraries will enable you to borrow from the public library in Uxbridge and to access their electronic resources, within the library and often remotely.

Electronic resources

It is unlikely that you will be able to access electronic resources from other institutions, even though e-books and e-journals may appear on their catalogues so look out for the print versions. Most libraries have a photocopying facility should you need to use it, but it is best to check this before your visit.

Further afield

  • Worldcat. This website searches across many catalogues from libraries all over the world.
  • Library of Congress. A record of the books, journals and other material stocked in the Library of Congress. As the Library of Congress is the copyright library for the USA the collection is very comprehensive.

Page last updated: Tuesday 19 April 2016