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Foyle Special Collections Library

Find the Foyle Special Collections Library


The Foyle Special Collections Library  houses some 200,000 printed works, as well as maps, slides, sound recordings and manuscript material. Its collections, built up over centuries by purchase, gift and bequest, contain many unique items and cover all subject areas, but they are particularly strong in:

  • European military and diplomatic history
  • Jewish and Christian theology
  • The history of the British Empire
  • The history of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Medicine
  • Science
  • 20th century Germany
  • Voyages and travels

Find out more about the Collections we hold

Opening hours:

Monday-Friday, 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00

The Foyle Special Collections Library is open to all members of King’s College London and to external readers. Please note that external readers are advised to book their visit in advance.

We welcome remote enquiries from both King’s staff and students and external enquirers. Please contact us at

If you are a member of King's teaching staff, we are also happy to discuss developing special collections seminars for you and your students.



The Foyle Special Collections Library welcomes all King’s students and staff, and members of the public, to use our collections.

King's students and staff

King’s students and staff must present their university identification card.

Other users

All external users must present a photographic form of identification, e.g. passport, driving licence, university ID card, or a letter of introduction.


All visitors to the Foyle Special Collections Library are required to sign the visitors’ book upon arrival.


Once you arrive at the Maughan Library please go through the main gates and the entrance to the Foyle Special Collections library is on the right at the top of the steps.


Please press the buzzer at the bottom of the steps to be let into the building.


Finding material and using the Library catalogue

You are welcome to visit without an appointment and we are happy to help with your enquiry.

However, to help you make the most of your visit - and this particularly applies to visitors from outside King's - we recommend that you Contact Us to make an appointment at least one working day in advance, either by telephone, email, or in writing.

You can search for items located in the Foyle Special Collections Library through King's Library Search  If you provide us with full details of the material you would like to see before your visit, you can help us to ensure that we have items ready for you on arrival.

Alternatively, material can be ordered in person in the Reading Room. When you visit, we are happy to help you to search the catalogue in order to identify material relevant to your studies.

The Reading Rooms are supervised at all times.

Archives and Special Collections

Readers with disabilities

  • The reading room is wheelchair-accessible via the Maughan Library
  • A Topaz XL magnifier is available for visually impaired readers
  • The use of tape recorders for taking notes may be permitted at the discretion of the staff and with the agreement of other readers present
  • There are accessible toilet facilities within the department

It may be possible to arrange parking facilities if users Contact us in advance.