As well as print copies, the Library subscribes to over 300 online versions of its journals, augmented with access to thousands more through online periodicals archive services such as JSTOR. For further details of the extensive range of periodicals and databases that can be accessed on-line see our eJournals pages. Much of the content of our eJournals is directly searchable through the Library’s online catalogue service CATALYST

The majority of the Library’s electronic resources are provided through annual subscription rather than purchase and the continuation of each subscription depends on the volume of use and available funding. Wherever possible, licences are secured which permit use by members remotely (via the Library’s website) in addition to use on the Library’s premises. While some licences permit unlimited use, others are restricted to one or more simultaneous users; the use patterns of restricted licences are regularly reviewed and simultaneous use allowances expanded where demand requires and resources permit.


Not all of the Library’s collections are included in our online catalogue but we have added all acquisitions since 1950 and a substantial and growing number of titles from our earlier catalogues as part of our Retrospective Cataloguing Project

Digital Materials

As the range of humanities information sources available in digital format has expanded, the Library’s collecting remit has also expanded to encompass digital materials where these are relevant to the subjects covered by the printed collections. 

In developing our electronic resources, we give priority to acquisition areas where digital format:

  • adds value to content by improving information retrieval, eg through full-text indexing (eJournals, newspapers) or by providing the capacity to search across a range of materials (subject bibliographies, periodical and newspaper compilations, compilations of reference works and/or texts with unified search engines)
  • offers longer-term possibilities for space saving (eJournals, bibliographies, reference works
  • has a reliable preservation and support infrastructure
  • provides access to materials not generally available or affordable to individual subscribers

It is our policy to defer exposure to digital (and other non-book) formats where:

  • content is merely reproduced in another medium (eBooks, audio)
  • access requires a particular brand of reading device (Kindle, iPad)
  • the purchase or subscription model is unfavourable in comparison with printed books