- The Library

Using other libraries

Finding materials in other libraries

Access to other libraries: schemes & policies


SCONUL Access allows University of Bath students and academic staff to visit over 170 higher education libraries in the UK & Republic of Ireland, either for reference purposes, or to borrow books.  You are not entitled to use another library's IT facilities.  You should pay any outstanding library fines and be in good standing with the library before applying for SCONUL Access membership.

How to register: 

  1. Find out which libraries you can apply to join at  http://www.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access/  You will be asked to select your current university role/mode of study AND your home institution (University of Bath) from drop down menus.  Select Find to search for libraries taking part in the scheme.   The Search Results page will show libraries close to your home institution.  You can also search for libraries on an A-Z list by choosing See results as a list or searching using your postcode to show institutions in your area. 
  2. When you select the university you wish to access, you will be presented with an information screen providing contact information about the library, a member of staff you can email or telephone with queries and link to Apply for Access.
  3. Select the Apply for access link from the information screen of the library you wish to join.
  4. Complete the online form with your name and contact details as requested.  You should always use your University of Bath email address when applying for SCONUL Access.  Some partner libraries will check the email address you have used to correspond with your home library as an additional check to verify your current student status.  
  5. Once you have entered all the required information, press Submit to send an automated application to University of Bath Library staff.  Library staff will review and authorise applications.  Successful applicants will be sent an email back to their University email address confirming their SCONUL Access banding (membership rights) and an expiry date for their SCONUL Access membership.
  6. When you visit the other library, take a printed copy of the confirmation email that shows the membership banding and SCONUL Access expiry date information AND your current University of Bath library card.  It is always advisable to check the individual library's website in advance to find out about service hours.  Additionally, if you have any special requirements it is recommended you contact the library in advance of your visit.

What if I want to use more than one library through the SCONUL Access scheme?

You only need to complete the online application once.  The confirmation email you receive will provide information useful to any member library you wish to join.  You should print a copy of the email each time you want to join a library and take it with you to apply for membership.  You should try to use a copy of the approval email within two weeks of the date it was sent to assure host libraries of its currency.  

Need to
 renew an expired SCONUL Access membership? 

Please register again: refer to how to register

SCONUL Summer Vacation Access

British Library

All students and staff: To visit the British Library reading rooms in St. Pancras, you must apply to the British Library for a Reader Pass. This will allow you to access the reading rooms for reference purposes only.  You can either apply by posting an application form or by visiting the British Library.  If you apply by post, you should expect to wait at least 10 working days before receiving a reply.  If your application is approved, you will be expected to take identification with you when you visit the library. More information including how to apply for a Reader Pass. Also view the British Library Catalogue. 

Bishopsgate Institute Library

A social sciences library in London that is open to the public. To access items from the special collections, you will need to request these in advance. More information.  

City Business Library

A public library in London that specialises in business studies.  More information. 

Holburne Museum Library and Archive

The Holburne Museum houses a reference Collection generally covering fine and decorative art from the  Renaissance to the twentieth century, and the history and architecture of Bath.  There is a particularly fine collection of monographs on seventeenth-century painting of the Spanish, Netherlandish and Italian schools. Sir William Holburne’s own library (the ‘Historic Collection’) is a typical nineteenth-century gentleman’s library, with novels, fine bindings, guidebooks and histories. We also house the Huth Collection of nineteenth and early twentieth-century books on swordsmanship and combat sports. There is a complete run of catalogues of all past Holburne Museum exhibitions.

The library is intended mainly for Museum staff and University students, but all genuine researchers are welcome to use it if they unable to find specific books in a public library.  Before making an appointment to visit, please search the Library Catalogue to find out whether we have the book you need, or whether your subject area is covered.

Once you are sure we have what you need, please apply for an appointment using an official Holburne Museum Library Enquiry Form.  This includes further information and conditions for using the library, which we ask you to sign before we can accept your enquiry. Please send completed forms to library@holburne.org.

Individual libraries' policies
Inter-Library Loans

You can use this service to get material that we do not hold at the University of Bath Library and Learning Centre. Many University of Bath Library users can submit requests for items at no charge. However, the number of free requests that you can make may be limited. Please only request items that are essential to your studies because the cost to the Library is high for each request. However, any member of the Library can pay for an Inter-Library Loan. For more information, please check the Inter-library Loan service.

NHS Libraries & Other Health Information Services
Royal United Hospital Library (RUH) Academy Library

The Academy Library at the Royal United Hospital in Bath offers a reference service between 8:30 and 5:00, Monday-Thursday, and 8:30 - 4:30 on Friday.  If possible, please telephone in advance (01225 824897/8).  Remember to take your University Library card as you will need to present this on arrival.  Students on an official NHS placement are entitled to full library membership, including borrowing rights and access to all online services.  For full details of national/local NHS resources and conditions of use, check the following: