The IISS Library

The Library

The library has been at the heart of the IISS since its founding in 1958. Today it has a comprehensive collection of books, journals, pamphlets and online resources covering a broad range of current international relations, security and defence topics. The collection reflects the institute’s forward-looking outlook and therefore contains very little historical material.

Opening hours

Normal opening hours are Monday–Friday, 10am–5pm, with the exception of public holidays.

The library occasionally has to close at other times in order to accommodate IISS functions; notice of such closures will be posted on this webpage, in the library and on the library’s social media pages (scroll down to 'Library on social media', below). 

When the library is closed, books and other material may be returned via the main IISS reception desk.

Book sales

Our collection is constantly updated and we hold regular sales of our withdrawn titles. Details of the next sale will be published here as soon as they are available.

Library Catalogue

Before visiting please check to ensure that we have relevant material for your research.




Contact Us

A qualified Librarian with knowledge of the subject area and the Library stock is available for consultation during opening hours. For more information Tel +44 (0)20 7395 9122 or email:


The Library

Services for members

The Library provides a range of services exclusively for Members of the Institute. These include borrowing books and pamphlets, postal delivery (within Europe) of material to members unable to visit the Library in person, and a quick reference service where Library staff answer enquiries related to the Library's collections.


Access to the Library is free for IISS members.

Non-members may also use the Library for free, but are not allowed to borrow material.

It is not necessary to make an appointment in order to visit the Library.

For information on becoming a member of the IISS, please visit: