FAQ for Visitors and Alumni

May the public use the library?

Yes, the research collections of the Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts are open to all those who are engaged in research of any type, as well as to members of Trinity Laban. Reference only access is provided. Please contact us to arrange an appointment before visiting. This enables us to save you time by having materials ready for you when you arrive. External users wishing to see rare materials will be asked to provide proof of identity.

To make an appointment to access the collection, contact the Head Librarian, Claire Kidwell, (020) 8305 4425.

I've graduated from Trinity Laban. Can I still use the Jerwood Library?

Yes: Trinity Laban alumni are welcome to continue to use library materials on a reference only basis at the Jerwood Library after graduation. No appointment is needed unless you wish to see an item from our special collections. You can also continue to use many of our online resources within the library, but will no longer be able to use them from home or elsewhere.

What about members of other colleges and universities?

Reference access is available as above. Furthermore, if your institution is a member of SCONUL Access, you may be able to borrow a limited number of items from the library. SCONUL Access enables staff and postgraduate students to borrow from other higher education libraries within the scheme, and also allows undergraduate students to use other libraries for reference purposes. Register online for the SCONUL Access scheme in advance, then bring your institutional ID and a copy of your 'SCONUL Access approved' email when visiting us. We advise you check our opening hours before visiting, particularly during vacations. If you have any questions about Jerwood Library's involvement in the scheme, contact Edith Speller, (020) 8305 4422.

May I borrow from the library?

Unless you are a current member of Trinity Laban or an eligible member of SCONUL Access (see above), you cannot borrow items from the Jerwood Library. However, if there is a specific item you wish to borrow, you may be able to do so through the Inter-Library Loan scheme. Please contact your local public or academic library for more information.

How can I find out what's in stock at the library?

Search the Jerwood Library catalogue. Viewing the details of an item will confirm whether or not a copy is currently available.

Where else can I go to borrow music materials?

Your first port of call should be your local public library. You can usually obtain materials through your local public library and best results can be obtained by planning well ahead and giving the library plenty of notice of your requirement. Materials not in their stock can normally be obtained on inter-library loan for a small fee.

We particularly recommend joining the Barbican (City of London) and Westminster public libraries if you are based in London. These have extensive music library collections (books, scores and CDs) and also offer access to Naxos Music Library  and other specialist music online resources.

Most public libraries also offer access to online resources including Grove Music (Oxford Music Online), Encyclopaedia Britannica, Oxford Reference, Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford English Dictionary, online newspaper archives, and many other resources.

How do I join my local public library?

Always check in advance what documentation you will need to have with you when you apply for membership (usually official documents which prove your address). Most libraries put this information on their websites along with their opening hours and other contact details.

My local library doesn't have the materials I want, where else can I go?

If your public library is unable to obtain the materials you require, you could investigate getting a reader's pass for the British Library, which is most likely to hold the scores and recordings you require, but remember access to these collections is for reference only. Remember too that, aside from books, scores and manuscripts, the British Library also holds newspapers, journals and sound recordings. Check the BL's online catalogue to see what they have.

Other academic, special, and national library catalogues can be checked via COPAC and many of these libraries also welcome researchers to use their collections on a reference only basis or may charge modest subscriptions to allow borrowing.

Please speak to library staff if you would like any further guidance on sourcing materials.

What other online resources would you recommend?

We maintain an online list of recommended resources.

Particular sites we recommend include:

  • Cecilia, a guide to music collections in archives, libraries and museums in the UK and Ireland;
  • The National Archives; and
  • IMSLP, a virtual library of public domain music - however double-check the UK copyright status of pieces before printing and using scores.

You haven't answered my question!

If your question isn't answered here or elsewhere on the website, please contact us with your enquiry.

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