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Our collection

The British Library manages its collections as a single entity. Material is selected according to our collection development policy. A significant portion isĀ available for loan as described here.

Our collection is probably the largest in the world devoted to the provision of remote document delivery. It covers every aspect of scientific, technical, medical and human knowledge, in many languages. We hold journals, books, conferences, reports, patents, theses, official publications, music scores and images. To search our collection on the web for free or to find more information about our collection, catalogues and publications, use the links below.

You can search almost all our holdings using our online catalogues. For material that may not be listed, see the note below.

Material available for remote supply but that may not be listed on Explore the British Library :

  • Books published between 1950 and 1980
  • Music scores
  • Some Official Publications
  • Certain types of report literature.

If a search for an item in our online catalogues is unsuccessful, we recommend that you send us a 'speculative' request.