Skip to main content

Spotlight on the School of Advanced Study institute libraries


Celebrating 30 years of the School of Advanced Study, Senate House Library spotlights SAS's globally-renowned institute libraries' collections. From law to classics, history to art - explore nearly 3 million volumes spanning the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Thirty years after its foundation in 1994, the School of Advanced Study (SAS) at the University of London is celebrating a milestone anniversary. SAS was founded as a federation of nine of the University of London's research institutes in the humanities, facilitating advanced study in the humanities and acting as a catalyst for individual and collaborative research in the United Kingdom and beyond. 

To mark the 30th anniversary, a social media campaign will spotlight the world-class collections at the heart of SAS’s mission - its internationally renowned libraries and archives. The campaign, #SAS30atSHL, will highlight the diverse and important items held by the institute libraries of the School, which together form one of the world's most significant collections in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

More than 100,000 registered readers from over 200 countries access the services of the eight collaborating libraries each year. Their combined holdings amount to nearly three million volumes and 12 miles of open shelf access, providing a range of material unmatched anywhere in the world in relation to their specialist subject areas.

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies houses more than 285,000 volumes dedicated to legal studies and its foreign and international law collections rank among the most extensive and unique in the UK. The campaign will also feature the Institute of Classical Studies Library, which brings together collections from the Institute of Classical Studies and the Hellenic and Roman Societies into a major resource for those working on research in the languages, literature, history, art, archaeology and philosophy of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. 

The Wohl Library at the Institute of Historical Research is home to more than 200,000 primary sources on the medieval and modern history of the British Isles and Western Europe, their colonial expansion, the subsequent history of North and South America, international relations and war. Items from the Warburg Institute Library will also feature in the campaign. The Warburg Institute Library is the largest collection in the world focused on the afterlife of antiquity and the survival and transmission of culture, with more than 360,000 volumes available on its open shelves. 

The themed month will also spotlight collections from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library, Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies Library, and Latin American Studies Library. These libraries provide crucial materials for studying topics related to the Commonwealth nations, Germanic languages and cultures, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Romance languages, literatures and societies.                 

Keep an eye on Senate House Library social media throughout the month for more details.