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London School of Economics

Brief History

The British Library of Political Science (as it was called until 1925) was founded in 1896, a year after LSE. The Library was to both support the teaching of the London School of Economics and Political Science and to collect resources to support wider research in the social sciences thus the ‘laboratory’ of the social sciences was born. The Library moved to its current location in 1978 and was re-modelled in 1999-2001. The LSE Digital Library launched in 2012 providing access to digitised content and born digital archives.

Collections

The Library’s print collections have key strengths in statistics, government publications, pamphlets, newspapers and academic journals. For further details see here.

The Archives Services Group acquires records in the following fields:

  • modern British political, economic and social history.
  • history of the social sciences including social and political history, economics and economic history, social anthropology, gender studies and sociology.
  • history of the London School of Economics.

There are over 1600 collections and key collections for the study of labour history include the papers of the Independent Labour Party, Fabian Society, Charles Booth’s Enquiry into London Life and Labour, politicians including Hugh Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Lansbury, Labour leader, the diaries of Beatrice Webb, Fabian and LSE founder. The Archives also hold an extensive collections of posters and political ephemera. For further information see here.

Contact Details

British Library of Political and Economic Science 10 Portugal Street
London
WC2A 2HD.

Tel : 020 7955 7229
Web : http://www2.lse.ac.uk/library/home.aspx
Link for OPAC : archives.lse.ac.uk/

Opening Times

Monday – Thursday, 10am – 8pm
Friday, 10am – 5pm
Saturday, 11am – 6pm
(term-time and Easter vacation only)
Opening hours differ on public holidays and around Easter and Christmas.

Admission

Free admission.

Transport

The Library is close to Holborn and Temple tube stations and is served by buses covering Aldwych and Kingsway.

Access Details

Access information can be found here.