Seals

Great Seal of King John

About the collection

What is available online?

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

How to guides

Find charters, rolls, and seals

How to access medieval and early modern European documentary collections

Guide to Explore Archives and Manuscripts

A guide to help you use the catalogue, covering: login, search, how to manage your results, how to browse the collections and how to request items

How to reuse images of unpublished manuscripts

Guide to the copyright of unpublished documents

About Explore Archives and Manuscripts

With Explore Archives and Manuscripts you can search for information about our rich and unique archive and manuscript collections.

Guide to researching provenance of books now in the British Library

Where do the British Library’s old printed books ‘come from'? Who owned or read them in centuries past? Why does it matter?

Access manuscripts and archives

Accessing manuscripts and archives and obtaining a Letter of introduction or recommendation

How to order images

Instructions on how to order images of the British Library's collections from our Imaging Services

Get a Reader Pass

Access over 170 million collection items for free with a Reader Pass.

Find Persian manuscripts

Details of Persian manuscripts are to be found in a number of catalogues

Find Arabic manuscripts

Details of Arabic manuscripts are to be found in a number of catalogues

How to handle archives

Watch our guide and help us keep our archive material in good condition

Find papyri

How to identify papyri and request them

Search for Cyrillic items in the catalogue

How to search for Cyrillic items in the catalogue

Find and request Lord Chamberlain's Plays

How to locate items in our largest single manuscript collection

How to handle folded items

Find out how you should hand items like large maps and book inserts.

Find Hebrew manuscripts

Guide to finding Hebrew manuscripts in our online catalogues

Using the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

How to use the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)