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Contact us to order items in advance

Reader Services Enquiries can order items on your behalf, if you prefer not to order items in advance of a visit to our Reading Rooms using Explore the British Library or Search our Catalogue Archives & Manuscripts.

You can order:

  • Up to four items by phone
  • Up to six items by fax, email or letter.

Advance requests must be received a minimum of four days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) before the date required.

When contacting us, you must state:

  • Your name
  • Your British Library Online Account number (formerly your Reader Pass number)
  • The shelfmarks (or reference code, for archive and manuscripts) of the items you wish to order (one item can be ordered without a shelfmark/reference code)
  • Author / title details
  • The date you require the items
  • Which Reading Room you would like the items delivered to
  • Your telephone or fax number if placing orders by fax or letter (in case there is a problem with your order).

We do not send automatic responses to confirm your order but you can check the status of your requests with My Reading Room Requests.

Office hours:

Monday - Friday 08.30-17.00
Saturday 10.00-16.00


Contact details

Reader Services Enquiries
The British Library
Customer Services
Boston Spa
LS23 7BB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7676