The majority of the Library's holdings can be found in these catalogues, however, some material is not yet described online and is only listed in printed catalogues or handlists.

Explore the British Library

Our main catalogue is a great place to start as it contains the majority of the Library's collection of books, journals, newspapers, maps, scores, sound recordings and more.

Explore Archives & Manuscripts

Use our catalogue to find details of the Library’s unique collection items including manuscripts, unpublished documents and family and estate papers.

Sound & Moving Image Catalogue

Our sound collection contains over 6.5 million recordings in all genres, from pop, jazz, and classical to wildlife, interviews, drama and language.

British National Bibliography

This catalogue lists the books and new journal titles published or distributed in the United Kingdom and Ireland since 1950.

Specialist catalogues

  • Database of bookbindings

    This catalogue provides information and images of selected bookbindings printed in western Europe from the 15th century to date.

  • Catalogue of Chinese printed books

    A searchable catalogue of Chinese printed books and serials catalogued after 1993.

  • English Short Title Catalogue

    The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) is a short-title catalogue of works published between 1473 and 1800, mainly in Britain and North America.

  • Evanion catalogue

    Over 6,000 adverts and posters from Victorian daily life, collected by the stage magician and ventriloquist, Henry Evans.

  • Catalogue of illuminated manuscripts

    Use this catalogue to explore in depth the British Library's medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.

  • Incunabula Short Title Catalogue

    Here you can find records of 30,000 editions of 15th-century European printing.

  • India Office Family History Search

    This catalogue contains 300,000 records for births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials, as well as potted biographies for both individuals and families.

  • Microform research collections

    This diverse collection features medieval manuscripts, annotated proofs of the novels of Charles Dickens, British Home Office papers and records since 1782, and archives of the Soviet Communist Party and State.

  • Catalogue of photographically illustrated books

    Containing details of 1,323 books and 15,274 photographs with titles and descriptions, and 320 digital images of original photographs – from 1839 to 1914.

  • Register of preservation surrogates

    This catalogue of printed book and music titles on archival microform covers texts from all periods and languages except those in Oriental and Arabic scripts.

  • Sloane Printed Books

    The Sloane Printed Books catalogue lists books which belonged to Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753).

  • International Dunhuang Project

    Find information and images of all manuscripts, paintings, textiles and artefacts from Dunhuang and archaeological sites of the Eastern Silk Road.

  • Database of Italian Academies

    Database for locating printed material relating to the Italian learned Academies 1525-1700