RUSI Library

The RUSI Library of Military History is a significant collection dedicated to developing our knowledge of conflict, war and military thinking.


Library Closure 2021-2022

During the redevelopment of the RUSI building at 61 Whitehall the RUSI Library of Military History will be closed, and there will be no access to the collections. Further details of the redevelopment project can be found here.

Collections

The Library includes monographs, maps, journals, magazines and more. The collection forms a unique repository of books on military history with a strong emphasis on nineteenth and twentieth century works.

The Library catalogue can be searched online. We are currently working to add all the library, archive, paintings, prints and sculpture collections to the catalogue.

Rare and Special Books

Our Rare Books collection dates from 1700 and consists of of over 600 pre-1821 books and pamphlets and other items of note. The collection includes Lord Radstock's extensive collection of Naval pamphlets donated by his widow Esther Lady Radstock.

The collection includes statutes, history books, engineering and training guides, political and pamphlets. All our Rare Books are fully catalogued and can be available to see on site by appointment.

RUSI Archive & Special Collections

The RUSI Archive consists of documents and manuscripts relating to the creation and running of the Institute which includes council minutes and some membership records.

Our special collections include photographs, cuttings books, diaries and newspapers relating to military events or members of the Institute.

We also have Captain Lionel Challis's 'Peninsular Roll Call' which records the service records of every Army Officer who service in the Peninsular War between 1808 and 1814. A digital version is available for study.

Paintings, Prints and Sculpture

The RUSI building on Whitehall is home to a collection paintings and sculpture that reflect the history of the institute and military history more widely. Many of these can be seen on ART UK

RUSI Library Catalogue

The RUSI Library of Military History is home to over 30,000 volumes. You can search what is available using this online catalogue.

RUSI Digital Collections

The digital collections include unique and rare materials from the RUSI Archive, Special Collections and Artworks, making available the heritage and legacy of the Institute from its founding in 1831 for a worldwide audience

Visiting the Library

  • The library is open to both members and non-members by appointment, though members only can borrow books. Appointments are available Monday-Thursday, 9.30-5.00. It is recommended that you plan your visit well in advance and consult the library for available research dates and times.

  • Loans are made to RUSI members for one calendar month and renewals can be made by emailing the library.

     

    Periodicals and reference items may not be borrowed. All loans are subject to the discretion of the Librarian.

  • Adherence to UK copyright law is the responsibility of the researcher and details of copyright can be found on the British Library website

     

    For research, private study, review, criticism, quotation and reporting current events the concept of fair usage allows limited lawful use or reproduction of work without seeking the permission of the copyright holder.

     

    If you are unsure, please check with the Librarian, this includes photography.

  • Please seek permission from library staff. Any copies made can only be for non-commercial purposes and for private or individual study in compliance with UK copyright law. Any fragile and damaged items should be copied only with the permission of the Librarian. They should be copied one page at a time only and always supported.

     

    Photocopying in black and white is charged at 15p per A4 sheet and 20p per A3 sheet.

Library News

Updates on the RUSI Library of Military History and its special collections


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