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Accessing Senate House and other libraries


Senate House Library

All Royal Holloway students and staff can sign up online for a Senate House Library membership. The membership is free. 

Please note that all memberships are for four months and you can renew within 14 days of the expiry date. 

For the latest updates on their services and how to access their collection visit the Senate House Library website



Return Senate House Library books on campus

There is a drop box on campus at the Depository (see the campus map) where Royal Holloway staff and students can return books borrowed from Senate House Library. The drop box is located in the fence by the green gates at the entrance to the Depository site. There are a few things to note: 

  • The box is open 24/7
  • Fines money cannot be taken at the Depository, nor can fines disputes be dealt with there.


The SCONUL Access scheme allows many university library users to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme.  SCONUL Access is a reciprocal access scheme open only to members of SCONUL.  There is no fee for institutions to join and the scheme provides free borrowing for many staff and students of participating institutions.


1. How to join

  • To join SCONUL Access and find out which libraries you can use, click here.
  • Please apply using your Student ID number and full Royal Holloway college email address (the one including your full name).


2. You must reapply for library access if your approval has expired

  • Please do not visit an institution until your new application has been approved.
  • All information about applying for the Access Scheme is available on the SCONUL website.
  • Please be patient and allow us time to deal with your application.
  • Please check the website in detail for information about the Scheme before you contact your library and the library you wish to visit or before contacting SCONUL.
  • Please remember access granted under the Scheme is a privilege and not a right.


 3. Allow time for your application to be processed

  • An extremely high volume of applications is being processed.
  • How long your application takes depends on how many applications we receive.
  • In some cases you may need to wait up to 4 weeks.
  • Please do not pressure library staff - it will not speed up your application. 
  • Please do not call the library you wish to visit or the SCONUL office about your application - it will not speed up the process.


 4. Check on the day whether the institution you would like to visit is participating

  • This allows for any sudden changes to pandemic-related restrictions.
  • Check online at SCONUL-access.


 5. Prior access does not mean current access

  • Some institutions that previously participated in the scheme are not participating at this time.
  • You are not guaranteed access to an institution because you previously used it.
  • Check before you visit at SCONUL-access.