Click here to skip to content
Sign up for our e-newsletter

Collection items temporarily unavailable

British Library and Qatar Foundation digitisation project

There will be some disruption to the availability of items in our collection from January 2013 onwards, as a result of a major digitisation project the British Library is running with the Qatar Foundation.

These items will include archival material relating to the Gulf from the East India Company and India Office, and also some medieval Arabic scientific manuscripts.

We strongly advise readers to check the availability of materials online and to contact Asian & African Studies reading room staff for advice.

Once digitised the material will become available online in addition to being available for consultation in our Reading Rooms.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

British Library and Google digitisation project

A number of items from our collection will be temporarily unavailable to readers from December 2012 onwards, as a result of a major digitisation project the British Library is running with Google. The project will run for four to five years.

These items, which include books and pamphlets in English and other European languages dated 1700 to 1870, will be typically unavailable for 8-12 weeks while preparation and scanning take place.

Currently, items starting with the following shelfmarks may be unavailable:

  • 8155bbb3 to 8206e16
  • 10796dd61 to 10924e34
  • 07905h13 to 7979d13
  • 3756f3 to 3914b44
  • 8308a54 to 8938aaa2

If you are planning to use an item that falls into this bracket, please place an advance request (from 1 - 7 days in advance only) via the Library's catalogue. Please note that if you place a request more than 7 days ahead, there is a much greater chance that we will be unable to deliver it.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, and urge readers to check the availability of materials online before visiting the Library. As a result of the project, 250,000 books from our collections will be made available online for free via Google Books and, in due course the Library's website.

Newspaper collection moves

The Newspaper Library at Colindale closed on 8 November 2013, in advance of the collections held there being moved to Boston Spa in West Yorkshire (print newspapers) and St Pancras (microfilm, open access reference materials).

Future access to newspaper collections will be via a dedicated News and Media Reading Room, which will open in St Pancras next March. It will be where Business & IP Centre 2 is now. Work to repurpose and refurbish the room is expected to begin in early December.

More details on the moves programme, and information on newspaper resources you can access in the meantime, is available on our website.