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British Online Account: FAQs

Why do I need a British Library Online Account? I just want to order books.

All our customers, regardless of how many services they want to use, need to be registered centrally. This includes our Readers. You only need register for an account once, and it only takes a few minutes.

If, in the future, you find that you need to use one of our other services - for example, ordering a ticket for an event - you won't need to register again to do so.

I don't have an email account, and I don't want one. Do I still need a British Library Online Account?

Yes, you still need an account. You don't need to have an email account to do this, although you won't be able to access other Library services without one.

I use the reading room at Boston Spa. Do I still need a British Library Online Account?

Yes. If you use the Reading Room at Boston Spa you need to register for a full (photographic) Reader Pass. Once you've got your pass, you will then need a British Library Online Account.

I only use Explore Archives and Manuscripts. Do I still need a British Library Online Account?

Yes. You will need A British Library Online Account otherwise you will not be able to log into Explore Archives and Manuscripts and request items to the Reading Rooms.

I've just registered for me Reader Pass; why am I now being asked to provide more details?

Sorry about this, but we're in the process of upgrading both systems. At the moment, registration is still using the old service, but Explore the British Library, and Explore Archive and Manuscripts, use the new system. During the cross-over period, people who register online will then have to submit additional details when they go to log in to our catalogues.

We know this isn't ideal, but you only need to do this once, when you log in for the first time; it only takes a few minutes. When you log in subsequently, you will just enter your account credentials.

I've already have a British Library Online Account as I registered for one of the other services. What should I do?

Go to the login screen, and click on the Upgrade link. Enter your Reader Number and pass expiry date and press continue. On the next screen choose Yes I have registered and enter your Username and Password and click Continue.

I've forgotten my username and password. What do I do?

If you're at home, or using your own laptop in the Library, you can use the links on the login page to get an email reminder of your details.

If you're using one of our PCs, or if you don't have an email address, you need to contact Customer Services on 020-7412-7676. They can set you up with a temporary password. If you're in a Reading Room, go to Reference Enquiries and ask to use the Library's phone to make the call.

I regularly use My Reading Room Requests. How do I login to that?

Once you've activated your British Library Online Account, and have chosen your username and password, you will use these new credentials to log in to My Reading Room Requests.

I have an account to pay for prints or photocopies that I make in the Reading Rooms. How do I login to that?

Once you've activated your British Library Online Account, and have chosen your username and password, you will use these new credentials to log in to the Print/Copy Top up service.