One of the UK's five National Research Libraries is to undergo a multimillion-pound refurbishment project. The library at the School of Oriental and African Studies holds unique collections on Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Due to be completed in 2012, the restoration will deliver 40 per cent more seating for readers and an 11 per cent increase in library space for visitors. The first £6.5 million phase will include the refurbishment of the ground-floor library and a gallery. Soas is raising a further £8 million for the second phase.