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Explore the British Library - Help

For registered readers only: step-by-step guide to upgrading your reader account

To help you use Explore the British Library, try our:

Some of the information is intended just for British Library Reader Pass holders (or registered document supply customers).

Comments are welcome and will be used to improve the help supplied.

Help documents

Note these are Adobe PDF files - Accessibility solutions and free Reader software are available from Adobe.

Training videos/text versions

Please note that as our Catalogue was updated recently we are in the process of updating these videos. The catalogue functionality, however, remains the same.

Video Information on how to: Text version of video
British Library Online Account
Upgrade reader account Upgrade your reader account to a British Library Online Account.
For Reader Pass holders only.
Text version
Merge accounts Merge your existing British Library Online Account with your reader account.
For Reader Pass holders who also have another British Library account.
Text version
Change password Change an existing password.
For British Library Online Account holders (or registered document supply customers) only.
Text version
Essential functions
Log in Log in to Explore the British Library.
For British Library Online Account holders only.
Text version
Simple search Carry out a Simple search. Text version
Refine Refine your results by author, subject, material type etc. Further refinements may also be made using the include and exclude functions. Text version
Requesting options for readers
Request for today Request items in the collections for today.
For British Library Online Account holders only.
Text version
Requesting in advance (Basket) Request collection items in advance of your visit - using the Basket.
For British Library Online Account holders only.
Text version
Requesting manuscripts (for Readers) Request manuscripts.
For Reader Pass holders only.
Text version
Requesting electoral registers (for Readers) Request electoral registers.
For Reader Pass holders only.
Text version
Advanced functions
Advanced search Carry out an Advanced search. Text version
Managing your results Sort the results list according to author, title or date. Also view item details, save items to a folder, email and print items.
Some functions are available to Reader Pass holders (or registered document supply customers) only.
Text version
Research datasets Search for data created in scientific research. Text version
My workspace functions
My workspace folders Create folders for storing, emailing, printing or forwarding catalogue records.
Some functions are available to Reader Pass holders (or registered document supply customers) only.
Text version
Save searches Save searches permanently and set up email alerts.
Some functions are available to Reader Pass holders (or registered document supply customers) only.
Text version
Personal settings Set personal display and email preferences.
Some functions are available to Reader Pass holders (or registered document supply customers) only.
Text version

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