In January 2021 the Library will introduce a new Library Management System and updated online catalogue.

The current systems that the Library uses are end-of-life and we need to migrate to updated versions. The change will take place on 21 January 2021. Unfortunately this will lead to some loss of information on Library members’ accounts and it is important that you read the following information and capture any personal data that you may need.

Your loan history, eShelf and saved searches will not be transferred to the new system, therefore if you need access to this information after January 2021 it will need to be extracted from the current system. You can log in to Catalyst and extract this information following the below steps, please note that for members with a long user history this information may be lengthy.

Alternatively, we can extract your loan history for you, please request this by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please be aware this may take at least 5 working days.

Please follow the instructions below:

  • Login to your account on Catalyst using your membership number and PIN.  If you need a new PIN to log in please request this on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with 'PIN' as the subject line.

To email records saved on your eShelf to yourself

  • Click on the pin icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen then choose Saved Records (it should open by default).
  • Click in the box at the top of your list to select all the records, or select the individual records you want to keep.
  • Click on the ellipsis (...) from the grey menu bar at the top of the screen and select email from the options that appear. The email address that is linked to your account will appear automatically but it can be amended just for this action should you wish to use a different address.
  • The system will send you an email containing the items you have selected but please be aware that after 21 January 2021 the links will no longer work.

To access your list of saved searches

  • Go to your eShelf as above and choose Saved Searches.
  • If you have any saved searches, they will appear here along with the terms you used and the scopes or refinements applied. These can be cut and pasted into a document and recreated in the updated version of Catalyst when it launches.

To access your loan history

  • Click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen and choose My Loans.
  • Click on Active loans (the drop down menu next to Loans) and select Previous and historic loans.
  • You can cut and paste the information into a document, but you will get a neater, more readable version if we extract it for you – particularly if your list is long.

Download instructions with images

It is important that we have a Library Management System and online catalogue which are fully supported by the supplier and designed for the digital era. We understand that the loss of personal history relating to your use of the print and online collections will be disappointing to some and we have held back from making this change until absolutely necessary.

We apologise for the inconvenience and are happy to offer any assistance in collecting this information before the new system launches.


(L: The Spanish people’s fight for liberty / compiled by A. Ramos Oliveira (1937), R: Guernica: Crimes Committed by Fascism (1937)

We delve into shelfmark H. Spanish Civil War to find some remarkable volumes acquired during the conflict in the 1930s.

The Spanish Civil War was fought from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939 between the Republicans, who were loyal to the established Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists, a rebel group led by General Francisco Franco. The Nationalists prevailed, and Franco ruled Spain for the next 36 years, from 1939 until his death in 1975.

The London Library holds a collection of books about this tragic episode in the recent history of Spain, which can be found under the shelfmark H. Spanish Civil War. Many of the books were published and acquired by the Library while the conflict was going on, and some of them were published outside Spain, because there were very poor means for publishing them there, and also because they intended to attract international support for the Spanish Republic.

Of special interest are the books that include graphic materials, such as photographs taken during the conflict, showing the War fronts and the effects of the War on the Spanish cities and population. An example of this is the book entitled The Spanish People’s Fight for Liberty, a compilation of images from different photographic and press agencies, including Alliance Photo, Keystone Press Agency, Wide World Photos and Associated Press Photos, published by the Spanish Embassy in London in 1937. The images were taken at the beginning of the War and the selection pays special attention to the Republican side. Another interesting book is Guernica: Crimes Committed by Fascism (1937), a testimony of the aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica on 26 April 1937, which is considered to be one of the first raids in the history of modern military aviation on a defenceless civilian population. The book includes several photographs of the complete destruction of the town caused by the Condor Legion bombings as well as the testimony of an eye witness.


(L: Un an de lutte pour l’indépendance et la liberté / par Joan Comorera (1937), R: British Battalion, XV International Brigade memorial souvenir (1939)

On the other hand, the collection includes speeches and addresses by important figures of both sides of the conflict. For instance, the book Palabras de Franco, published in Bilbao in 1937, collects a series of addresses made by the General in key moments of the first year of the War; and we can find an example of the Republican side in the book For the Independence of Spain, for Liberty, for the Republic: Union of all Spaniards!, the complete text of the report to the plenary session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Spain in 1938, by Dolores Ibárruri, “La Pasionaria”, the communist leader best known for her defence of the Second Spanish Republic and the famous slogan ¡No Pasarán! (“They Shall Not Pass”), pronounced in a speech during the Siege of Madrid in 1936.

Finally, we can also find some literary works about the War, such as Poes ías de Guerra (1937), a collection of poems that was published by the “Quinto Regimiento de Milicias Populares”, a famous military body of volunteers of the Second Spanish Republic. The Fifth Regiment of the People’s Militias was created as an initiative of the Spanish Communist Party and the Unified Socialist Youth, and it had a strong antifascist ideology. Some famous communist writers and poets were enlisted by or connected with the Regiment, for instance Rafael Alberti and Miguel Hernández, who wrote some of the poems in this anthology. Other examples of literature and the Civil War are the works by foreign authors that worked as war correspondents or fought as volunteers in the conflict, such as Arthur Koestler, Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell. Of the latter, the library holds the first edition of his acclaimed book Homage to Catalonia, published in April 1938, an account of his personal experiences during the War in Catalonia and Aragon from December 1936 until June 1937.

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London Library membership makes an ideal gift for a loved one. Whether you know a student or researcher that needs access to our impressive online resources, a book-lover that would appreciate our collection and postal loans, or someone in need of a study space for next year - our membership is a perfect gift.

Membership gives you:

  • Access to over a million books and periodicals.
  • A superb online offering including eBooks, journals, newspapers and more.
  • An unforgettable building in beautiful St. James's Square with socially distanced workspaces and a safe space to escape home.
  • Books sent by post even during lockdowns .
  • Christmas gifts festively wrapped in a special parcel, ready to pass on to your loved one.
  • The ability to choose when your gift membership starts.

We offer various types of membership, starting from around £24 a month.



Book Collection and Postal Loans

The London Library has over one million books dating from 1700 to the present day, almost all of which can be borrowed.

We run an excellent postal loans service meaning while we are closed you can continue borrowing books by ordering them online and we will then post them to you free of charge in the UK. We would normally charge for packing and postage but we have, for now, decided to waive those charges. We have also decided to extend every member’s existing borrowing limit by five books for the duration of the current Library closure, again, free of charge.

When we reopen you'll find our books on open shelves, ready to be browsed at your leisure and either read in the building or taken home.


Online Resources


We offer eBooks through OverDrive who offer a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction eBooks, and a range of audiobooks. We have identified a number of titles that are in high demand in the Library and have purchased additional copies as eBooks. We have also purchased fiction that we see circulating quite highly in the Library.

Academic resources

Through JSTOR you can access a huge digital library of academic journals, books, primary sources and periodicals. London Library membership provides free access to most of JSTOR's content, which subscribed to separately normally costs around £200 per annum. Members also have access to a vast collection of historic research material through hundreds of publications.

Newspaper archives and historic publications

As a London Library member you’ll be able to use the full digital archives of The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Observer, plus the extensive British Newspaper Archive,  the 17th-18th Century Burney Newspapers Collection and more!

Our subscriptions to historic publications - such as the Illustrated London News and the Country Life archive - provide a wealth of information, much of it beautifully illustrated, that is ideal for both work and pleasure.

Literary resources

An extensive collection of literary journals and collections is available if you’re looking to stay in touch with the literary world. London Library membership gives access to titles such as the complete archive of The London Review of Books, New York Review of Books, English Poetry, The Complete Prose of T S Eliot archive, Early English Books Online and many more.

Art and languages

Our online art resources offer a wealth of material for art researchers and art historians. As well as access to all of the art journals available through JSTOR we also provide use of the International Bibliography of Art, Oxford Art Online and more. The London Library’s language collection is extensive and  membership gives access to varous other language newspapers and publications.


Work Spaces

Our magical building in central London has atmospheric bookstacks and beautiful spaces for members to work and relax in. Whether you'd like to work in a historic elegant reading room, a modern non-quiet zone, or a secluded desk nestled among the books - we can offer it all.

The Library has seven rooms for working and reading plus individual desks and you will find WiFi and plug sockets throughout. During the pandemic, when we are able to open, we offer socially distanced spaces and a booking system to ensure our staff and members are kept safe


Christmas Gifts

All memberships can be given as gifts and will come packaged in festive wrapping.

Full membership: Access to everything for £45 a month or £510 by annual Direct Debit.

16-29 year olds: Access to everything for £22.50 a month or £255 by annual Direct Debit.

Partners of members: Access to everything for £22.50 a month or £255 by annual Direct Debit.

Associate membership: Access to all online resources and the building during off-peak hours for £30.41 a month or £335 by annual Direct Debit.

Remote membership: Access to all online resources for £24.58 a month or £265 by annual Direct Debit.

Gifts will be posted by Royal Mail First Class, it is advisable to purchase gift membership by 14 December. Memberships processed after this date may arrive after Christmas.



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