Click here to skip to content

Accounting and finance

This page explains what the subject accounting and finance covers, gives an overview of the material the British Library holds for this subject, and advice on how you can find and use it. It also gives details of current activities for developing the collections for this subject.

This collection covers all aspects of accounting and finance, including: accounting history, the accounting profession and accounting education; accounting theory; auditing; critical, social and environmental accounting; financial accounting and reporting, financial institutions, financial management, financial markets; accounting and government, public sector and not-for-profit organisations; international accounting; management accounting; market-based accounting; and taxation.

For information and advice for small businesses about doing your own accounts or book-keeping, please see our Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC).

Collection overview

The British Library’s accounting and finance collection is extensive and has particular strengths in English-language material published in the UK and North America. Most printed material is kept offsite and has to be ordered in advance of your visit; or ordered via our Document Supply Service; but a selection of around 200 relevant books and reports published in the last three years, and key journals published in the last 12 months, are available on the shelves in the London Social Sciences Reading Room. 

Overall we have:

  • an extensive collection of UK material acquired through legal deposit
  • strong English-language collections from North America, and selective coverage of English-language material published elsewhere
  • financial, market and news databases and extensive collections of market research reports in the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) in London. Some of these databases are also available in the Social Sciences Reading Room - Factiva includes news and detailed company data, and Business Source Complete includes market and industry reports. See a list of electronic resources available in the Social Sciences Reading Room
  • extensive UK journals coverage – many relevant journals are included in the electronic resources in the London Social Sciences Reading Room
  • and we produce oral histories of various aspects of business and finance. These include City Lives – over 140 recordings with people who have spent their working lives in the City of London. City Lives is also a book, published by Methuen in 1996 (ISBN 0413678903).

Finding aids

  • Explore the British Library. Use Explore the British Library to find details of books, reports, journal titles, newspapers, maps and many more parts of the Library’s collections.
  • Electronic resources - accounting and finance sources are found in the list for Management and Business Studies
  • Topical bibliographies on subjects such as the Enron scandal, and globalisation and employment.

Social Sciences Enquiry team

For more help on using the Social Sciences collections, contact the Enquiry team at or telephone +44 (0)20 7412 7894 from 10.00 - 20.00 Mon- Thurs or 10.00 - 17.00 Friday.

Current activities

British Library Content Strategy

We have refined our Content Strategy (i.e what we collect now and in future). Please see the content strategy pages on our website. These pages are organised by subject. Please remember that different aspects of a research theme may be described under more than one subject. A subject will also cover a variety of research themes, so even though your topic may not be specifically listed, it will likely be found under one of our headings.

If you have comments on the Library's content strategy, we would be pleased to hear from you.


Sally Halper
Lead Content Specialist - Business & Management
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7676

Email: Accounting&