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Development studies

This page explains what the subject of development studies covers, gives an overview of the material the British Library holds for this subject, and advice on how you can find and use it. It also gives details of current activities for developing the collections for this subject.

The study of cultural, demographic, economic, environmental, political and social change in low and middle income regions. Particular areas of interest include:

  • sustainability of communities
  • poverty reduction
  • relationships between developed and developing countries
  • local policy making and government
  • development policy
  • theories of development

Collection overview

Comprehensive holdings of UK published materials about the subjects above, including studies of countries outside the UK and of international organisations. The British Library has very strong collections on and from Commonwealth countries.

Related collections include Official Publications, the  and publications of International Organisations. You can find all the publications of the United Nations, and development reports from many countries.

The Sound Archive has many relevant holdings including Oral History and World and Traditional Music.

Finding aids

Social Sciences Enquiry team

For more help on using the Social Sciences collections, contact the Enquiry team at or telephone +44 (0)20 7412 7894 from 10.00 - 20.00 Mon- Thurs or 10.00 - 17.00 Friday.

Current activities

British Library Content Strategy

We have refined our Content Strategy (i.e what we collect now and in future). Please see the content strategy pages on our website. These pages are organised by subject. Please remember that different aspects of a research theme may be described under more than one subject. A subject will also cover a variety of research themes, so even though your topic may not be specifically listed, it will likely be found under one of our headings.

If you have comments on the Library's content strategy, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Ian Cooke
Lead Content Specialist - International and Political Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7676