Senate House Library

Reading Rooms and Study Spaces

Senate House Library offers individual and group study areas with access to WiFi and power. Our study spaces provide both silent study areas, and group working spaces.

Senate House Library study space

Reading Rooms and Study Spaces

Senate House Library offers individual and group study areas with access to WiFi and power. Our study spaces provide both silent study areas, and group working spaces.

Study spaces

The Library has four floors available for study and a combined total of 539 seats with most floors and Library spaces accessible by the Library lift on the 4th floor. 

On the 4th floor, the Goldsmiths reading room, Middlesex South and Middlesex North offer spacious study areas with original 1930s architecture and furniture. The North reading room is a relaxed area with comfortable chairs and sofas. Modern study spaces are located on floors 5, 6 and 7 within the collections. Most desks have plug sockets and individual lights. 

Hot or cold drinks in closed containers may be brought into the Library. Cold food and snacks are allowed in the ‘food and drink’ area on the 4th floor. 

Special Collections reading room

The Special Collections reading room holds the palaeography and book studies material and has spaces for consulting Special Collections and archive material. Items and desk space must be booked in advance. 

No food or drink, including bottled water, is permitted in this reading room. Coats and bags should be placed in the lockers provided and only pencils are allowed. This is to protect the items.

Bloom@Senate House 

As a member of Senate House Library you have access to BLOOM@Senate House, a unique area on the lower ground floor for individual study and collaborative working with a variety of comfortable breakout spaces and a café which make it easy to socialise, study together and share ideas.

Bloom@Senate House is open Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 18:00

Group study spaces 

The Library has three group study rooms available for Library members with a capacity of 6-10 people. They are located in the South Reading room on the 5th floor. The spaces are for working collaboratively in person or online and are not to be used for individual study or meetings. Rooms are to be booked in advance and are available for three-hour slots. 

Click here to book your room  

Accessibility suite 

The accessibility suite is a bookable room for Library members with a disability or dyslexia and for members who have an assistant. The room is fully accessible by lift to the 6th floor and has two electronically height adjustable tables with orthopaedic chairs, large screens and workstations. 

Private study carrels 

Study carrels are located within Goldsmiths, Middlesex South and Middlesex North reading rooms. Carrels can be booked by Library members for a weekly fee of £17.50 in term time or £15.00 in vacation time. Carrels have a desk, seating and shelving for private study. 

Click here to book a study carrel

Room for quiet contemplation

The room is a space for individual reflection or prayer and may be found at the top of the main Library staircase on the 6th floor, South. The room has a window overlooking Russell Square and two chairs. No booking is required, but please respect other users when using this room.  

If you have any feedback or a suggestion on how we can improve this space, please email

Floor plans 

Use the Senate House Library floor plans to locate: collection areas, reading rooms, lifts and stairs, service points, scanner / printers, accessibility phones, fire refuge points, and toilets.

4th floor:

Book Studies and Palaeography Membership Desk
Goldsmiths' Reading Room Music Collection
IGS Collection Service desk
History (sequence ends) Dr Seng Tee Lee Centre
Special Collections New acquisitions

SHL 4th floor

5th floor:

Art History
Classics Linguistics
English NYU Collection
Film, Media and Theatre Romance Languages

5th floor

6th floor: 

Commonwealth Studies Philosophy
Geography Psychology
Latin American Studies United States Studies

6th floor

7th floor:

Economics Law
Education Politics
Health Studies Religion
History of Science Sociology

7th floor

Library regulations

Please show consideration to others when using the reading rooms and study spaces by following Library regulations