Access and borrowing

Who can borrow

Staff and students of the University may register to borrow.  Non-members of the University may be admitted for reading only (permission should be sought via email).

Access for readers with disabilities

A wheelchair lift provides access to the lower ground floor reading area where the majority of desks and book stacks are located.

The Seeley offers a 'Click and Collect' service for students who cannot access our collections. Please contact the library directly (via email) if you would like books to be made available at the reference desk so that you (or someone you select) can collect items.

Borrowing and returning

To borrow, please take your University Card and books to the self issue terminal or circulation desk.  Please note that items cannot be issued or returned in the last fifteen minutes before closing time.  Half an hour before closing, a bell will ring twice to signal the last fifteen minutes of this service.

When returning loans, please wait while each book is checked in and then take them to the returned book shelves.  Never return books directly to the shelves as they will remain registered as on loan to your account and you will be fined if they become overdue or lost.

If you need to return books outside library opening hours you can use the letterbox book-drop in the faculty lobby, or, when the building is closed, post them through the external letterbox.

Borrowing rights

Staff, postgraduates and undergraduates have the same borrowing rights.  Note that there is a separate book limit and loan period for books from the Latin American Studies collection.

1. The main collections (including History, POLIS, Sociology and Land Economy)

  • Term-time: four items may be borrowed for seven days at a time.
  • Vacation: typically four items may be borrowed
  • Special Subject material: One day, or from Friday to Monday

2. Latin American Studies collection

  • Term-time and vacation: six items may be borrowed
  • All items can be borrowed for two weeks

There is extended borrowing over the vacations for all books, but please note that Special Subject material cannot be borrowed until the day before the library closes for Christmas, Easter or the summer closure, and must be returned on the day the library reopens.


Main history collection

  • The main collection (including Latin American): If an item is recalled or cannot be renewed automatically (such as at the end of the term) there will be a £1 fine for each overdue day. This includes closed periods and vacations.
  • Special subject books: Overdue special subject material will be charged at 50p a day (again, including closed periods and vacations).

Lost items

A fine of £30.00 is charged for a lost loan and is not refundable if the item is subsequently returned. Outstanding fines must also be paid.