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The RUSI Library of Military History is a unique collection of national historical and cultural importance. The collection is dedicated to developing our knowledge of war and shaping theoretical approaches to modern military thinking.
An integral part of RUSI, the Library is home to over 30,000 volumes which form a unique and ever-growing repository of books. Our collection contains a broad range of military history texts, including:
- Eighteenth, ninteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century military affairs
- Extensive collections on Crimea, The Boer War, Napoleonic campaigns, World War I and World War II, The Cold War and many other historic events
- Reference texts and journals including the Royal United Services Institute Journal and the United Services Institution of India journal.
The library is fully accessible to both members and non-members, though members have the added privilege of borrowing books at any time.
The RUSI Library of Military History's regular opening hours are Monday - Thursday 9.30 – 4.30 . However, the Library is used for events and may at times be unavailable.
The library is being used for events most of week beginning 28th November – Please contact the Librarian for further information.
There are a number of ways members can access the Library when it is unavailable:
- The Librarian can leave books on reception for you to pick up
- Providing access to the Library Store Reading Room instead of the main Library, please let the Librarian know which books you would like to see before you arrive
- Dealing with enquiries by email or phone and sending material by post or email (where possible and you may have to pay for postage)
You can also call: +44 (0) 20 7747 4999
For an automated service outlining the availability of the library for the current week.
We now have a Library and Archive Reading Room always available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you know which books or records you would like to see you can book a slot with the Librarian. Your items will be ready for you in the Reading Room upon your arrival. To book a slot please email the Librarian.
Visiting the Collection
Members can visit the collection anytime during opening hours (subject to the timetable above), or by appointment for use of the Reading Room. Non-members are advised to make an appointment with the Librarian before visiting.
Loans are made to members of the Institute for a period of one calendar month (to the nearest working day). Although we do not fine for overdue items we do send renewal notices at the end of each month.
Periodicals and reference items may not be borrowed. All loans are subject to the discretion of the Librarian.
Photocopying and Copyright
The generally accepted limits for photocopy within academic fair dealing are:
- One photocopy of one article in a serial publicationrn
- One photocopy of one chapter of a monograph
- Not more than 5% of any one text
Copyright extends to 70 years after the death of the author (this includes all authors if there are multiple authors). Anonymous and works by corporate bodies are in copyright for 70 years after publication. If an item is still in copyright permission from the author must be sought for further copying.
Copyright regarding maps is complicated but like artistic works lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator. Any copying of maps should be done in consultation with the Librarian, this includes photography.
Any copies made using the RUSI Library of Military History photocopier of any kind can only be for non-commercial purposes and for private or individual study under the provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations (2003).
For all copying carried out by library staff the recipient must first sign a copyright declaration. Likewise if any photographs are to be taken of library items a photography declaration form should be signed. This stipulates that the use of the items is for non-commercial purposes and will not be distributed. Any items posted will be subject to the additional postage costs.
Preservation and photocopying
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 supported at all times.
The Librarian reserves the right to refuse any copying at anytime on the basis of either copyright or preservation.
Photocopying in black and white is charged at 10p per A4 sheet and 15p per A3 sheet.
The RUSI Library of Military History is home to over 30,000 volumes