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Electronic resource FAQs:


Does the Library provide access to electronic resources?

The Library provides PCs in all Reading Rooms from which Readers can access Library subscribed electronic resources.

Many titles are networked and are available immediately. Those that can't be networked may be pre-loaded on the PC or an attached tower or can be loaded individually on request.

Electronic material attached to print items can be accessed in some Reading Rooms by ordering these items using the Library's catalogue, Explore the British Library, and in other Reading Rooms from locally held stores. Further information is available from the Reference Enquiry desks.

Licence agreements and technical specifications limit the Library's ability to network some digital material, or to provide immediate access on a particular workstation.

We limit access to some material to specific Reading Rooms, dependent on a particular title's relevance to individual Reading Rooms.
NB: Where resources are not limited you may still find it more helpful to use specialist databases in the Reading Room that specialises in that subject area; as the Reference staff will be more able to help with any queries.

Access cannot be guaranteed, as resources provided by remote suppliers may be subject to interruptions beyond the Library's control.


Can I print or download from the Library's electronic resources?

Legislation, licences and the availability of appropriate equipment restrict the use of most digital material available in the Reading Rooms.

Emailing of results (records) from many databases is allowed using the functionality within the database.

Printing, where permitted, is possible in all Reading Rooms.

There are no copyright restrictions on printing from patent CD ROMs produced by the Patent Office.

Downloading is possible only from:

  • Certain Business and - Library staff can download information for you from some of our databases.
  • Certain Social Science databases where the licence permits this. You should ask at the Reference Enquiry Desks for details.

If you print or download from CD-ROMs or from the Internet, you must abide by any restrictions notified by the information provider. The output is not to be used except for the purpose of personal research or private study; no commercial use is permitted.

A charge to cover administrative and consumable costs will be made.