Commonwealth Studies


This extensive research-level collection covers the Commonwealth and its member nations across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Oceania and Europe.

Collection strengths are in Commonwealth related history, politics, international relations, development, economics, education, the environment, human rights and social issues. The collection includes contemporary material as well as a collection of rare books and archives.

Please note: this is a reference only collection.


  • Commonwealth Studies books are located on the 6th floor.

Print periodicals

  • Recent issues of periodicals are on display in the Periodicals Room (North Reading Room), 4th floor.
  • Most back issues of periodicals and some monographs are shelved in the stacks. These will display the location Stack Service [ICOMM]. Please request these in person from the Service Desk, 4th floor. Some books are also held in the Offsite Store.
  • Please note that Teaching Collection books and journals are kept in a separate sequence. This is a short loan collection for Institute of Commonwealth Studies MA in Human Rights students and is available for Reference use for other users.

Finding articles

You can search multiple journals at once using electronic resources such as the Bibliography of British and Irish History, or Historical Abstracts 1955-, and back runs in JSTOR: Scholarly Journals online (full text) or the Periodicals Index Online.


The Collection is complimented by an excellent range of Databases, which provide significant and rich digitised research material. View list of Commonwealth Studies databases.

Related collections

Commonwealth flags on The Mall, London – Image credit