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Ask the Reference Enquiry Team

If you are outside the Library you can contact the reference team most relevant to your research by email, letter or telephone. We will get back to you within five working days.

Quick chat

Use our Quick Chat service for short research enquiries and get an instant reply. Quick Chat is available Monday to Friday: 10:00-16:00.

Search Our Knowledge Base

The Library’s Reference Enquiry Teams have been collecting the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and those enquiries which may be of help to others. These questions, and our answers, can now be found in a searchable database hosted by OCLC who administer the ‘Ask the Reference Team’ service.

Search the library's knowledge base:

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Contacts for enquiries

Asian and African Studies Enquiries
(India Office Papers, oriental language publications and oriental language manuscripts)
Tel: +44 (0)202 7412 7873
Email: Ask the Asian and African Studies Reference Team

Business & IP Enquiries
(Intellectual property, market reports, business start-up, patents)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7454
E-mail: Ask the Business & IP Reference Team

Humanities Enquiries
(Arts, Humanities, Library and Information Science)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7412 7831
E-mail: Ask the Humanities Reference Team

Manuscripts Enquiries
(Western language manuscripts, archives and papers)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7513
E-mail: Ask the Manuscripts & Maps Reference Team

Maps Enquiries
(Printed maps, topographical drawings, globes)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7702
E-mail: Ask the Manuscripts & Maps Reference Team

Music Enquiries
(Printed music scores, manuscript music scores and papers)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7772
E-mail: Ask the Music Reference Team

News Enquiries
(Newspapers, broadcast media)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7377
E-mail: Ask the News Reference Team

Rare Books Enquiries
(Pre-1850 publications, incunabula)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7564
E-mail: Ask the Rare Books Reference Team

Science Enquiries
(Science, technology, medicine)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7288
E-mail: Ask the Science Reference Team

Social Sciences Enquiries
(Social science, law, management, official and government publications)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7894
E-mail: Ask the Social Sciences Reference Team

Sound & Vision Enquiries
(Spoken word, music, wildlife and moving image recordings)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7418
E-mail: Ask the Sound & Vision Reference Team

Written enquiries should be addressed to the relevant team (e.g. Humanities Enquiries) and sent to:

The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

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