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Main Education Collections: UK and International: Main Collection

About the Main Education Collection


The Main education Collection is shelved on Level 5 at the UCL Institute of Education Library. 


The Main Education Collection began in 1902, when the Institute was known as the London Day Training College and since then we have consistently aimed to ensure access to a comprehensive selection of published resources related to UK education.The collection also contains materials about education globally.

The collection consists of over 350,000 physical items with some of these titles also available electronically. It contains resources dating from the early twentieth century to the most recently published research and textbooks. It is the largest national collection of education materials and we collect comprehensively on all aspects of education in the UK including resources produced by the devolved governments i.e. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Loan types

Resources which are part of the Main Education Collection are available for Short Loan, 1 week Loan and Standard Loan. More information about borrowing can be found in our guide to Library borrowing allowances. Due to space constraints, some of the older/less frequently used Main Education Collection material is held in Stores and can be requested via UCL Explore. Some of this material may only be available on a Reference basis.

Classification scheme

The collection uses a unique classification system called the London Education Classification (LEC) scheme. Although the classification may appear unfamiliar, it is easy to get used to as it is organised in strictly alphabetical order. 

Using the collection

Given the size and scope of the collection, it is very popular with not only our own staff and students but also with students and researchers both nationally and internationally. If you would like more information about using our library, please see our Information for External Visitors LibGuide.


Recommending resources

In addition to using our online form to Recommend a resource, you can also contact a member of the UCL Institute of Education Library Subject Liaison Team directly with stock suggestions:
Subject Liaison Team.
UCL Institute of Education Library, University of London.
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7612 6061.
The Librarian responsible for the Main Education Collection and the Official Publications Collection is:
Francesca Ezzelino.
Subject Liaison Team.
UCL Institute of Education Library, University of London.
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7612 6076.
The Librarian responsible for the Comparative Education Collection is:
Dan O'Connor.
Subject Liaison Team.
UCL Institute of Education Library, University of London.
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7612 6061.
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Finding on Level 5 (Main)

Photograph showing London Education Classification Scheme

The classmark sequence on this floor is alphabetical, with each syllable treated as a separate unit. There are 2 parts to each classmark:

  • 1 or more syllables (capital and small letters) indicating the subject of the book, followed by:
  • The first 3 letters of the author's name (or occasionally the title), all in capitals, which distinguishes books on the same subject by different authors. 

Photograph of shelf labels on level 5 of the library

To find a book, locate the relevant shelf using the classification sequence guides at the end of the shelving bays, then follow the sequence of letters alphabetically until you find the book which matches your classification exactly.

Often the classification sequence is unique to a single title, but be aware that sometimes other titles may share the same location.


To find items with "Oversize" in the classmark, go all the way to the end of the Main education sequence (Tux). Here you'll find that the sequence starts again i.e. with 'Bab', but this time the classmarks end with "Oversize".

Recent Arrivals

Values and professional knowledge in teacher education
Reconceptualizing disability in education
Title Thinking philosophically about education : selected works of Richard Pring
Decolonising intercultural education
The Bloomsbury handbook of popular music education : perspectives and practices
Neoliberalism, gender and education work
Paradigm shift in education : towards the third wave of effectiveness
Global perspectives on issues and solutions in urban education
What's transgressive about trans studies in education now ?
Education and the limits of reason
Strategies for fostering inclusive classrooms in higher education : international perspectives on equity and inclusion
Understanding Teaching and Learning

Collection News

Collection Management Project 2018-19

The Main Education Collection continues to grow and this means that we have to carefully assess how the space on our open shelves is managed.

This year, we will be sending approximately 15,000 items that have not been borrowed in the last ten years to our remote storage facility. All of the items that we send to storage will remain accessible and borrowable - a store item will usually arrive within a day of being requested.

This project will ensure that we can continue to grow and build the collection and ensure the continued accessibility of "high-use" items.  

Accessibility Statement

We  are strongly committed to excellence in supporting teaching and research and aim to make the IOE's LibGuides meet the standards set by the Web Content Accessibility guidelines. This is work in progress and if you have any queries or need support, please email us at