Key information on facilities for Readers using the British Library Newspapers Reading Room.
Reading Room facilities
The Newspaper Reading Room has 147 reader places. These include:
- 77 general seats for consulting hardcopy newspapers
- 54 seats for readers viewing newspapers on microfilm
- 2 seats for readers viewing newspapers on microfiche
- 8 microfilm reader-printers
- 14 multi-functional PCs providing access to electronic resources, British Library catalogues and the Internet.
- Sound and Moving Image, the British Library’s digitised multimedia service, is available from a terminal in the Electronic Resources area of the Newspapers Reading Room.
Using your laptop
Readers may bring their own laptops into the Reading Room and connect to the power supply. There are electrical power points provided at most desks in the Reading Room. Some desks have security “D” rings attached to them, to secure laptops while readers are absent. You may not connect your equipment to the Library's network or download any item from our electronic resources to it. Computer bags are not allowed in the Reading Room and laptops should be carried in a clear British Library plastic bag, if considered necessary.
There are facilities for readers who wish to use their own typewriters or tape-recorders which must be booked in advance of your visit.
NB: Pencils, not pens, must be used in the Reading Room. You may buy pencils at the Enquiries Desk and Admissions Desk.
There is a refreshment area on the Ground Floor with vending machines for hot and cold drinks, and snacks, a chilled water dispenser, and a seating area for 25.
A pay phone is available immediately outside the Reading Room entrance on the First Floor.
There is a small car park in front of the building. If the car park is full, there is a pay and display car park in the grounds of the former Colindale Hospital almost opposite the Library building.
Staff at the Enquiries & Admissions Desk will be pleased to provide general help and guidance on using the Reading Room.
An Information Specialist is generally available, to provide advice on the use of the collections and to assist with reference enquiries, during our normal opening hours of Monday to Friday and on most Saturdays.
In-depth research cannot be undertaken for readers by British Library Newspapers staff. A list of freelance research workers can be provided upon request.
Staff at the Newspaper Supply Desk will answer questions about the delivery of newspapers, and will deal with any problems that may arise with regard to your requests.