We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > Library home > Using our libraries > External users
More in this section External users

External users

Types of membership  How do I apply?  |  Behaviours

Not a member of Royal Holloway? Use of study spaces and reference access to the Library's collections at Royal Holloway are free for all members of the public, and does not require becoming a member of our library. However, borrowing rights are only offered to those who have membership.

Please note that borrowing rights does not cover access to college computers, laptop loans or our online collections.


Types of membership

Click to go to the section that applies to you:

Students and staff of other universities  |  Members of the public  | 
Alumni  |  Interrupted students

Students and staff of other universities and partner organisations

SCONUL Access Scheme

Students and staff from participating institutions may apply for SCONUL access to Royal Holloway University Library. Undergraduate students are given reference only access. Post-graduate students and staff are granted borrowing access, with restrictions dependent on SCONUL band.

SCONUL participants do not have access to e-resources or laptop loans, however they can use eduroam by signing in with their institution login.

You will need to apply for SCONUL membership through your home institution before applying for SCONUL membership at Royal Holloway. Please bring your SCONUL acceptance letter and ID card from your home institution with you when you apply at Royal Holloway.

Visit this page for more information.

University of London staff and research students

Staff and research students at University of London have borrowing rights at Royal Holloway University Library and may borrow up to 10 items at any one time from the 1 week and 3 week loan collection.

University of Surrey full-time students

Full time students at the University of Surrey have access to the Royal Holloway University Library and may borrow up to 10 items at any one time from the 1 week or 3 week loan collection.

M25 Consortium staff

Staff that are part of an M25 Consortium Institution have access to the Royal Holloway University Library and may borrow up to 10 items at any one time from the 1 Week or 3 Week loan collection.

Find out if your institution is part of the M25 Consortium by visiting their page, here.

CABI staff

CABI staff are entitled to free borrowing privileges at Royal Holloway Library. If your application is approved, you may borrow up to 10 items at a time from the 1 week or 3 week collections.

Members of the public

External membership with borrowing access is open to all members of the public. There is a fee of £20 for 4 months and £55 for 12 months. Borrowing access allows loans of up to 10 books from the 1 week and 3 week collection. External members cannot request items on loan, or request items on loan. Applications for borrowing access for external memberships are subject to the librarian’s approval.

You will need proof of current address dated within the previous 3 months (in the form of a bill or bank statement) and photo id when you apply.


Alumni membership is free and open to all those who have graduated from Royal Holloway University for three years. 

Alumni membership allows loans of up to 10 books from the 1 week and 3 week collection. You cannot request items on loan.

In order to be accepted an Alumni must have no outstanding fines or loans on their student account. Any outstanding loans or fines must be cleared before membership is granted. Please bring your former College Card with you when you apply for membership.

Interrupted students

For interrupted or withdrawn students, library access is revoked. In exceptional circumstances a reduced library service can be offered, but this must be agreed with the Library Customer Services Team and the relevant Academic Department. If you would like to discuss library usage as an interrupted student, please contact the Library Customer Services Team.


Click to go to top of page.


How do I apply?

Applications for membership can be made in person at the library. You will need to bring a passport-sized photograph, a completed application form and supporting documentation according to membership type e.g. your ID card from your home institution. More details of the required supporting documentation is specified on the application form.

Library membership application form

Application forms can be submitted in advance via email at LibraryCustomerServices@rhul.ac.uk to allow us to process your application quicker.

Applications for membership will be completed within 24 hours, Monday-Friday. If you require immediate borrowing access, please contact Customer Services to arrange a time to visit. To avoid delays, please bring all required documentation.

All membership will be granted on a yearly basis; you will need to reapply for renewal.

Click to go to top of page.



All members are expected to adhere to the library policies and code of conduct.

Any fines incurred will need to be paid promptly. Any user who reaches the fine limit of £35 will have their membership revoked until all outstanding fines are cleared, and all overdue books are returned. Membership will then be reconsidered but is at the discretion of the librarian.

Click to go to top of page.

Need help? Contact us

Need help? Contact us
Email library@rhul.ac.uk
Tel 01784 443823
Web Feedback

Connect with us

Twitter_Logo_Blue  FB-f-Logo__blue_58  YouTube-social-square_red_48px  Instagram-pink32x32  wordpress-logo-32-blue

Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback