Library Hub Discover (LHD) allows you to search for books (and some other resources, such as whole journals) in many British libraries at once. It includes most of the more important university libraries, the British Library, and many specialist scholarly libraries. As well as British institutions, it includes Trinity College Dublin, probably the most important academic library in the Republic of Ireland.
LHD is best for finding books, journals and sales catalogues in physical form.
It is not the best place to start for:
Run a search, and you will see a list of records, such as the one below:
As highlighted above, several parts of the record can be clicked to reveal more information. Selecting the title will bring up fuller information about the book. Selecting a library from the list on the right will show you how many copies the library has, where they are in the library and, sometimes, whether they are currently available.
Searching in LHD is fairly easy, but there are a few things to remember:
- the same book often has multiple records. So scan through the results list if at first you don't see the book in a library it is convenient for you to visit
- for some searches, it's best to go to Advanced Search.
Library Hub Discover is a wonderful tool, but is not perfect:
It is not completely accurate. if a book you need is not for any library you can easily visit, check the catalogues of possible libraries individually.
It includes many libraries SIA students do not have access to. To check access arrangements, visit the other libraries in London guide, or the website of the library in question, or contact the SIA librarians.
Some academic libraries do not offer free access to SIA students, but may offer a day's or week's access at a reasonable price: this can be worth considering. Examples are University College London (UCL) and the London Library. Please do check with the SIA librarians before spending money, however: we may be able to find a free way to access what you need.
It includes online material you may not be able to access as a visitor to a library
In LHD, physical material is designated by one symbol:
...and online material by another:
Some libraries, such as the British Library, will give you access to online material, though often only on their own PCs. However at certain libraries, such as university libraries, online material is only available to current members of that institution.
Not all libraries are in Library Hub Discover. Follow the links below to search the catalogues of relevant libraries in London not included in LHD:
BFI (British Film Institute) Library
Black Cultural Archives
British Architectural Library
Estorick Collection (library homepage: no online catalogue)
Goldsmiths' Company Library
Hayward Gallery and Archive
Live Art Development Agency
Museum of the Home
Westminster Reference Library and other Westminster libraries (no public libraries are in LHD)
Whitechapel Gallery Library (library homepage: no online catalogue)