The British Library has a world-famous collection of printed and manuscript music, music recordings, concert programmes and books and periodicals on music.

Collection guides

Reading Room  Paul Grundy

Rare Books and Music

  • Find information on the shelves
  • Access online databases and electronic journals
  • Order collection items to the Reading Room via our catalogues

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Mon 10.00 – 20.00
Tue – Thu 09.30 – 20.00
Fri – Sat 09.30 – 17.00
Sun & English Public Holidays closed

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

We offer a series of workshops to help you make the best use of the Library's collections.

For enquiries, please contact the Reference Service

Blog posts

Bringing a forgotten opera to life

Monday, May 22, 2017

Following the revival of Handel’s music that took place in the mid-20th century, there are probably no more ‘authentic’ Handel operas to be rediscovered. This is not the case with his pasticcio operas, however. In these ‘concoctions’ (or pasticcii), Handel...

The Sound Recordings of Arnold Adriaan Bake at the British Library: A treasure trove of South Asian music

Friday, May 19, 2017

This is the second blog from World and Traditional Music highlighting collections at the British Library from India, as part of the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture 19th May 1899 is the birth date of Dutch ethnomusicologist Arnold Adriaan Bake...

The dog and the cakes

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to food. Be it a tasty turkey destined for a special Christmas dinner or a sandy sandwich snatched from your hand on the beach, the chances are you’ve experienced this in action. To celebrate...

Recording of the Week: a musical family

Monday, May 15, 2017

This week's selection comes from Jonathan Summers, Curator of Classical Music Recordings. Jacob Collier has been creating a stir in the musical world recently, winning two Grammys in February at the age of twenty-two. His grandfather Derek made his first...

More blog posts

Projects

Delius, Modernism, and the Sound of Place

Using manuscripts and digital technologies to understand the composer Frederick Delius

All projects

Case studies

…The research I did as an Edison Fellow at the British Library was invaluable for my PhD…

Alexis Bennett researched 1930s British film music as an Edison Fellow at the British Library.

…My work as an Edison Fellow has profoundly changed my thoughts on music making…

Pianist Marisa Gupta uses historical sound recordings to inform her chamber music performances.