We have manuscripts dating back to the 17th century, early printed books, newspapers and periodicals, and modern research-level publications in the humanities and social sciences.

Collection guides

Asian and African Studies Reading Room

Asian and African Studies Reading Room

  • Find information on the shelves
  • Access online databases and electronic journals
  • Order collection items to the Reading Room via our catalogues
If you need help, just ask our Information Specialists at the Reference Enquiry desk.

We offer workshops to help you make the best use of the Library's collections.

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Mon: 10.00 – 17.00
Tue – Sat: 09.30 – 17.00
Sun & English Public Holidays: closed

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

For enquiries, please contact the Reference Service

Blog posts

The formation of the British Library’s Vietnamese collection. Part 2: South Vietnam

Monday, September 5, 2016

This blog is the second in a two-part series chronicling the efforts by the British Library to build up its Vietnamese collection, particularly throughout the difficult period of the Vietnam War years, based on departmental archives. Part 1 dealt with...

Call for Applications

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Do you know of any collections that are currently at risk and need preserving? The Endangered Archives Programme is now accepting grant applications for the next annual funding round – the deadline for submission of preliminary applications is 4 November...

Merdeka: Malaysian independence day

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

31 August is celebrated each year in Malaysia as Hari Merdeka, ‘Independence Day’. It marks the momentous occasion that took place on 31 August 1957, when at a great ceremony at the national stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Tunku Abdul Rahman...

The formation of the British Library’s Vietnamese collection. Part 1: North Vietnam

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In the digital era, accessing information of any kind from a library is just one click away on your computer keyboard, and almost makes you forget how difficult this activity could be in the past. Half a century ago, this...

More blog posts

External links

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South East Asia Library Group

Scholars and librarians concerned with library provision for South-East Asian studies

Southeast Asia Digital Library

Provides researchers with a wide variety of materials

Shop

Raffle's Ark Redrawn book

Raffle's Ark Redrawn: Natural History Drawings from the Collection of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles

An exquisite illustrated catalogue of the 123 colourful natural history drawings of the Raffles Family Collection.

£20

The Book of the British Library

The Book of the British Library

As well as holding some of the world's most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is the repository of the nation's collective memory.

£25.00