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National Oceanographic Library: Home

Guide to the National Oceanographic Library

Contact us


National Oceanographic Library, National Oceanography Centre,Southampton, University of Southampton, Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK

Telephone or E-Mail:

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 6116



The library is on level 4 of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Maps and directions to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.



Reporting IT Problems

For help and advice using the photocopiers / printers (MFDs) and workstations in the library please visit the iSolutions website.

Please notify library staff if you notice a problem with any IT equipment so that they may report it to the iSolutions ServiceLine

Accessing Resources From Off-Campus

It's not always straightforward to access e-resources when you're away from campus. Our Accessing Resources guide will give you the information you need to access our subscription content - including details of the SVE service (Southampton Virtual Environment) which is invaluable in ensuring the best possible access from home.

Welcome to the National Oceanographic Library

The National Oceanographic Library

The National Oceanographic Library is a dynamic service, and is continually adding resources and developing services to support the research and teaching at the National Oceanography Centre. The information on these pages will tell you more about the library, how it supports study and research at NOC, its collections and the services available to students, staff and the general public.


National Oceanographic Library

The collection, which is comprehensive from the mid 19th century, includes books, reports, monographs, journals, conference proceedings, atlases and charts covering the subject areas of oceanography, deep-sea research and earth sciences including, geology and geophysics.

Archives and special collections

Course Collection - The National Oceanographic Library [NOL] Course Collection is located next to the self-service machine. The collection is open access. Items can be issued for loan at the Help Desk whilst it is staffed during our loans service hours. Alternatively items can be borrowed using the self-service loans unit.

  • The collection contains:
    • Online stock (extracts, articles)
    • Copies of recommended textbooks. Books are arranged in call number (shelf mark) order.
    • Course boxes (located at the end of the book stock). Course boxes are arranged in alphanumeric course code order. They contain material supplied by tutors for specific courses
  • When the Library is open you can return items to the Help Desk or use the self-service loans unit. When the Library is closed, a box for returns is available outside the entrance. Course Collection items must be returned to the library from which they were borrowed.
  • Items borrowed during the day are due for return by 11:00 the following day.This applies every day except Friday and Saturday when items are due for return by 11:00 on Monday.
  • We always welcome your comments, queries or feedback regarding either the course collection in particular, or material required for undergraduate course work in general.
    Please contact us

National Oceanographic Library Study Areas

The National Oceanographic Library offers a variety of study areas on its three levels.

Bookable meeting rooms

  • Located on level 5 of the library.
  • The Blue, Yellow, Purple and Red room can all be booked by sending an email to or in person at the Reception Desk at the entrance of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
  • The Green room is available to use without a booking.
  • Each room has a large monitor and SmartBoard overlay.
  • Instructions explaining the use of the SmartBoard and other Audio Visual equipment are in a wall mounted holder in each room.
  • Each room has electrical sockets.

Quiet Study Area

  • The entrance floor (level 4) of the library is designated as a quiet study area in the library.
  • Electrical sockets are available in this area.

Silent Study Area

  • The lower floor (level 2) of the library is designated as a silent study area.
  • Electrical sockets are available in this area.


NOL Team photo

Staff and Students of the University of Southampton

If you are a member of staff or a student at the University you are entitled to use the library during the advertised opening hours.

When visiting please ensure you have your University ID card with you. This ensures you access through the dock gates and into the library.

If you have a problem accessing the library after 18.00 please report to security on level 4 where your card will be checked. The card will either be reset or a temporary visitor card will be issued.

External visitor and alumni information

Our library hours for external visitors are Monday to Friday, 09:30 - 16:30 and by appointment only.

Archives visiting times are by appointment only. Please ensure you book an appointment 24 hours in advance.

To book an appointment and for further information see the Visitor Access page. Charges may apply. Visitors may not borrow any books or other materials from the library.

Floor plans

Books are on the main level of the National Oceanographic Library (level 4). 

Most of the printed journals are on either level 4 (journal titles from A to N) or the lower floor [level 2] (journal titles from N to Z). A small number of journals are held in the NOL archives. If you need assistance finding materials please speak to library staff at the Help Desk who will be pleased to help you.

Past Exam Papers

Past examination papers are available from this online database.

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