To order items to view in our reading rooms you must have first registered for a Reader Pass.
At St Pancras, London, most of our items are held in store, rather than on open access, and you have to request them to view in our Reading Rooms.You can order items when you are in our Reading Rooms, or in advance of a visit either online or by contacting us. We recommend that you order in advance so you will be able to make best use of your time here.
At Boston Spa, in Yorkshire, all items are held in store and the minimum delivery time is 48 hours. Items have to be ordered in advance either online or by contacting us.
- Use Explore the British Library to request most items to our Reading Rooms; online help is available.
- Use Search our Catalogue Archives & Manuscripts to request archival and manuscript material to the St Pancras Reading Rooms; online help is available.
- Or contact us to order items in advance on your behalf.
You may request up to ten items per day; restrictions apply in the Manuscripts Reading Room.
You can track the status of your requests with My Reading Room Requests.
Note that some collection items have to be requested on manual tickets; these include some Maps, Patents and Official Publications and certain highly restricted and fragile items.
Note also that some Western Manuscripts collection items, including most illuminated manuscripts, are not normally made available without a written letter of introduction or recommendation.