The Library’s strategy to create space for growth of new stock moves to its next phase with the removal of foreign government publications, commencing in mid-August. The Library holds around 75 linear metres of both US and Indian government publications, but neither collection is by any means comprehensive, and the Library largely stopped collecting these around the 1950s. The British Library and the LSE have far more comprehensive collections, available for members of the public to access, and anyone using such material for research would be far better served at these libraries. Further information about the holdings of these collections is below. If you have any comments or feedback about the removal of foreign government publications, please do contact Matthew Brooke, Director of Collections and Library Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Indian government publications at the British Library

The India Office Library was transferred in 1982 to the British Library, where it was amalgamated with the British Museum's holdings, and the combined collection is described as "the most comprehensive set of Indian government publications possible". Originally received under colonial legal deposit, up to independence, it extends to 14 kilometres of shelves and comprises boxes of archival papers together with 70,000 volumes of official publications and 105,000 manuscript and printed maps.  These are public records issued by four main sources:  the East India Company (1600-1858), the Board of Control (1784-1858), the India Office (1858-1947), and the Burma Office (1937-1948), as well as a number of British agencies overseas.

This collection may be consulted in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room at St Pancras, although it should be noted that some series are stored offsite at Boston Spa with a minimum delivery time of 48 hours.  This collection has not been catalogued online and has to be requested on manual tickets.  

Indian government publications at LSE Library

LSE Library has an extensive collection of official publications from pre-1947 India and its provinces.  While not as systematic and comprehensive as the India Office Library, there is a wealth of statistical, historical, legal and administrative material, including hundreds of pamphlets from political parties and campaigns.  The LSE's collection is catalogued online and has the additional advantage of being stored on open access shelves and therefore available for browsing.  

US government publications at the British Library

The British Library holds the most comprehensive collection of federal publications outside of North America. Full information can be found in the collection guide.

US government publications at LSE Library

The LSE has an exchange agreement with the United States, which ensures an extensive collection of federal publications. More information about their holdings can be found in their catalogue and on the website, including their collection policy.