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

20th Century Maps: Everything Changes, Nothing Changes

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Maps improved in their technological power during the 20th century, and as a result became better able to meet the requirements of their time. Some of them even came to symbolise key themes of the age such as dynamism and...

Maps and women

Thursday, February 23, 2017

“This is all very manly, isn’t it” a visitor said to me a while ago as I was showing a group around our current exhibition Maps & the 20th Century: Drawing the Line. And the visitor (whose own work explores...

Soviet Military Mapping of the Cold War Era

Friday, February 17, 2017

In this exclusive guest post, map historian John Davies introduces one of the most enigmatic of 20th century map genres. 'The story of Soviet military mapping is the story of a massive secret project, spanning the fifty years of the...

How Maps Got Into the Movies

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This special guest blog post by the film historian Roland-François Lack looks at an entirely new cartographic genre which emerged during the 20th century - the cinema map or cine-map. 'Maps first appeared in films as narrative props or background...

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

Shop

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.

£15.95

Michael Katakis: Photographs and Words

Photographs and Words (hardback)

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

£25

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.

£25