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How to order items

All items are held in closed storage and you have to request them to view in our Reading Room. 

Major changes are being introduced to the way you use our collections which will impact on how you should request items to view in the Reading Room.

Ordering items up to and including 9 September 2014

On the day of your visits you can order up to a maximum of 8 items. Retrieval times are 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 13.30,14.30 and 15.30. Orders are placed on request forms obtained from the Enquiry desk.

By phone, in advance of a visit, you can order 4 of the 8 items mentioned above providing you give us at least 24 hours notice of your visit.

By post you can order up to 16 items prior to your visit. Requests must be submitted on our official request forms and we need to receive them at least 5 days (excluding weekends and Bank holidays) before your visit. Request forms can be obtained from the enquiry counter or by contacting us for an information pack

Ordering items to view in the Reading Room from 10 September 2014 onwards

All printed items have a minimum delivery time of 48 hours. Any collection items you wish to view will need to be requested online 48 hours in advance. You can:

You are strongly recommended to track the status of your requests with My Reading Room Requests to ensure that the items you require are available to view before you visit the reading room.

NB: If you intend to use the Reading Room on 10 September 2014 you will need to have pre-registered online and ordered your items by 8 September 2014.


Customer Services,
Reader Registration,
The British Library,
Boston Spa,
West Yorkshire,
LS23 7BQ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1937 546060; Fax: +44(0)1937 546333