2. Resources in the UK
We cannot list all the libraries in the UK holding Italian resources. So before checking one of the larger libraries on this page, always search the catalogues of your University library first, and those which are in your neighbourhood. University libraries tend to have different specialisms depending on the research interests of the lecturers and researchers associated with the institution, so collections may vary considerably. Be creative when doing your research and use COPAC to locate your materials.
The British Library
The British Library is one of the world's greatest libraries. It holds over 150 million items from every age of global civilization. You can search the catalogues and order copies of some documents online. Access is free but you need to get a reader's pass. Photocopying, microfilming, photographic and digital services are available but be warned: charges are very high. If you can copy the materials elsewhere, then do so. See the special webpages dedicated to the Italian collections of the British Library.
The British Library Newspaper Collections
This is a fundamental resource if you need to work on periodicals (there is a complete microfilm collection of the‘Corriere della Sera’ from 1914). Access is free but you need to be registered with the British Library. The collection is based in Colindale (North West London, zone 4). Currently about 2,600 UK and Irish newspaper and weekly/fortnightly periodical titles are received. Major overseas newspapers in European languages are collected, where possible on microfilm, selectively to complement the UK and Irish collections. About 250 titles are currently received, including the most significant newspapers from most English-speaking countries and from western and eastern Europe.
University College London Main Library
The University College London Main Library is one of the major academic libraries in London and sometimes has items that not even the British Library has in its catalogue. Access is free for all postgraduates (although you have to show proof of identity and get a card). You can register as both readers and borrowers. However, University of London students not from UCL are subject to Library Services' approval.
University of London Library: Senate House
The University of London Library is one of the major academic libraries of the United Kingdom. Access is free for all postgraduates (although you have to show proof of identity and get a card). However, lending rights are only given automatically to University of London students and staff. Anyone else has to pay a fee (there are various different categories). Photocopying (also onto CDs) is available at a reasonable rate.
Bodleian Library at Oxford
This is the main research library of Oxford University, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library, having a stock of 6 million volumes. Admission is free to members of Oxford University, and to other bona fide scholars on production of a suitable letter of recommendation and proof of identity. Graduate students affiliated to universities and colleges funded by the higher education funding councils of the UK or the Republic of Ireland are exempt from payment.
Cambridge University Library
This library has more than 5 million books and more than 1.5 million serial volumes. For vacation access only your student ID is required, although during term time and for the section Manuscripts & Rare Books you have to produce a letter from your supervisor. Students from foreign universities are subject to an administration charge of £10 for six months.
The Taylor Institution Library (Oxford)
The Taylor Institution Library is devoted to modern languages and has a total stock of over 500,000 volumes - it is the largest specialist library in its field in the UK. Its collection concentrates on the literary and philological aspects of continental European culture, but also contains much background materials in fields such as history and philosophy.
John Rylands University of Manchester Library
Holdings of specialized library collections, including manuscripts, early printed books, and rare materials.
The Warburg Institute
Peculiar to this library is the classification of its collection of 350,000 volumes in four sections: a) social and political history, b) religion, history of science and philosophy, c) literature, books, libraries and education d) history of art andarchaeology. It also holds 2,500 runs of periodicals, about half of them current (on mobile stacks in the basement). The libraries of the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society are housed, and accessible, in the Institute. Access is restricted to researchers. A letter signed by your supervisor is required.
British Film Institute Library
The BFI Library provides access to a large collection of documentation and information on film and television including Italian films and scripts.
The National Art Library - Victoria and Albert Museum
NAL is both a major reference library and the Victoria and Albert Museum's curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book, with a special collection of prints, drawings and paintings.