Click here to skip to content

Use Explore the British Library to order items online in advance

Readers can request items in advance of visits to the St Pancras Reading Rooms by logging on to Explore the British Library  to order items online. 

You request items in exactly the same way as you would when in our Reading Rooms. Having logged on to Explore the British Library, searched and found an item you wish to order:

  • Click the 'I want this tab'.
  • Click 'Go' to have the item delivered to a Reading Room'.

The Item Details screen displays with brief bibliographic information of the item you have chosen. Below this, for each copy of the item we hold, are the:

  • Shelfmark
  • Availability
  • Delivery time

and a 'Select' radio button, alongside each copy. Below these details are two buttons:

  • Request for today
  • Add to basket.

Choose Request for today, if you want to request one item.

Choose Add to basket, if you have more than one item you wish to request today, or wish to request the item for a future date.


  • Before you visit us, you can track the status of your requests with My Reading Room Requests or confirm that your requested items have been delivered to the Reading Room by contacting Reader Services Enquiries.
  • Readers can request remotely 24 hours a day, Monday – Sunday
  • You may order up to 10 items per day