You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

Visiting the British Library

The British Library provides access to illuminated manuscripts in its exhibition galleries and its reading rooms. For the opening hours, information about getting to the Library, and admission to the reading rooms, please see

If you need to consult an original manuscript, please note that all readers require a British Library Reader Pass.

For consultation of illuminated manuscripts, a written letter of recommendation is required from an academic colleague, tutor, or another appropriate person supporting the readerís need to consult original material. A written recommendation should be signed and include the name and professional status of the referee.

Please note that additional permission is required to consult certain high-grade manuscripts. Therefore it is advisable to contact us in advance at, particularly before undertaking a long journey to the Library, to ensure that any necessary permissions are obtained prior to your visit.

For more information about using the British Library's manuscript reading room at St Pancras and consulting original manuscripts, see the British Library Manuscript Collections.