Our visual arts collections include paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture and historical furniture.

Collection guides

Reading Room  Paul Grundy

St Pancras Reading Rooms

At St Pancras we have 11 Reading Rooms, each specialising in a different subject area or type of material and with different opening hours. In our Reading Rooms you can:

  • Consult books, journals and other items from our collections
  • Access a wide range of electronic resources and electronic journals
  • Ask for help from information specialists at the Reference Enquiry desks
  • Consult subject guides, bibliographies and other research aids

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

For enquiries, please contact the Reference Service

News stories

Call for Papers

5 August 2015

The British Library and the Paul Mellon centre for studies in British Art call for papers for a Transforming Topography conference

Blog posts

Imaginary Cities - British Library Labs Project

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Posted by Mahendra Mahey on behalf of Michael Takeo Magruder, first runner up in the British Library Labs Competition 2016. Michael will be working with the BL Labs team between November 2016 and March 2017 on his project 'Imaginary Cities'...

Map Reading in the 20th Century

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

In the 20th century maps truly arrived at people’s fingertips. People learnt to read maps and to use them for a wide number of pursuits, especially (though not exclusively) finding their way around. The Ordnance Survey’s National Map Reading Week...

Pavlo Kovzhun or ‘adopt his enthusiasm...’

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Filippo Tommaso Marinetti explained his view of the beauty of the contemporary world, in his first Manifesto of Futurism (1909), Pavlo Kovzhun was only thirteen. A few years later he already considered himself to be a Futurist, but at...

A Journey to Bookland

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The British Library has recently acquired a most appropriate addition to its map collection: a map of ‘Bücherland’ (Bookland), designed and drawn in 1938 by the German painter and illustrator Alfons Woelfle (1884-1951). Karte des Bücherlandes Woelfle’s map was specifically...

More blog posts

Library experts

Dr Malini Roy

Curator, Visual Arts Collections

Felicity Myrone

Lead Curator, Western Prints and Drawings

External links

The British Library is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The National Archives

Features a wide range of records relating to the East India Company


Points of View book

Points of View: Capturing the 19th Century in Photographs (paperback)

Points of View brings together, for the first time, a selection of images from the British Library's unique collections.


Michael Katakis: Photographs and Words

Photographs and Words (hardback)

Michael Katakis’s photographs are now held in the British Library’s collections.


The Book of the British Library

The Book of the British Library

As well as holding some of the world's most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is the repository of the nation's collective memory.