The SHL / BPS Library

(Graduate and Chartered members only)

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BPS Library

The British Psychological Society Library is fully integrated with the Psychology Collection in Senate House Library – together, these provide a leading, national, resource in psychology.

The Society’s Library contains a collection of:

  • books and journals published by the Society
  • a large collection of subscribed journal titles
  • periodicals received in exchange for the Society’s publications
  • extensive runs of historical journals
  • various historical book donations
  • miscellaneous Society publications


SHL Psychology Collection

Key areas include: animal behaviour, biological, child and adolescent psychology and psychiatry, cognitive, developmental, forensic psychology, health psychology, historical, hypnosis, mental health, methodological, occupational, parapsychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, social and testing.

The Collection is complemented by Historic Collections holdings of important early psychological texts dating back to the nineteenth century and earlier. The periodicals collection is especially strong, both in print and electronic. There is a collection of psychological tests and manuals.


History of the BPS Library

The roots of the British Psychological Society’s library can be traced back to 1906, when journals were first bought to be circulated among the few members there then were.

Over the years the library, and the Society itself, grew, occupying several different homes in London. In 1947 the library, which had been moved out of the Society’s premises in London to the University of Nottingham at the outbreak of war, was transferred ‘temporarily’ to Senate House Library. The collection consisted almost entirely of journals and has been there ever since, continuously developed and added to.

In 1958, the de facto permanent nature of the arrangements was regularised by agreement. In 1970, the University of London created a Psychology Library within Senate House Library, and the Society agreed to place its library within it. At that time, it represented about 80% of Senate House’s psychology holdings.

In 2014 it was agreed to merge the two collections into one for the benefit of BPS members and of library users generally.


Library Benefits for BPS Members (Graduate and Chartered members only)

Reference-only access (no charge):


Borrowing access (charges applicable):

  • All of the above, plus
  • 10 books loan, renewable online

Remote access to electronic resources (only available to BPS members registered for the Society’s Qualifications):

Psychology databases online


Other services (charges applicable):


Other library resources

In addition to the printed and electronic resources at Senate House Library, all BPS members also have free online access to full-text journals via PsychSource.


Join the Senate House Library

Library membership depends on the type of your BPS membership. You can pre-register online and complete your registration on your first visit to the Library.