Reopening the British Library and Digitisation Services

From 22 July we're intending to open some of our Reading Rooms in St Pancras and Boston Spa as the first step of a phased reopening. We're working really hard to open more of our spaces and services as quickly and as safely as possible. Find out more information on the re-opening of the British Library.

Digitisation Services are also beginning a phased return to our buildings and we are working on plans to gradually resume limited services as soon as we are able to. Currently we are unable to access BL collections or do any digitisation work.

Please do bear with us during this period of transition and regularly check here and follow us on twitter for our latest updates. Our Customer Service team will be offering a limited support service should you require assistance.

We send colleagues and customers our best wishes.

Images of some of our collections are already digitised and available for delivery straight away, please contact our Customer Service team for more information.

For copies of contemporary research content, such as journal articles and book chapters, please use British Library On Demand.

Our Services

We offer a wide range of specialist digitisation services, including:

High Quality Printing (PDF Download)

Location Photography (PDF Download)

Metadata Enrichment (PDF Download)

Multi Spectral Assessment (PDF Download)

Personal Collections (PDF Download)

Specialist Scanning Services (PDF Download)

3D Imaging (PDF Download)

What you need to know

Bulk digitisation

Find out how our digitisation experts can help you and your organisation digitise your archives

Ordering images

All you need to know about ordering scans or photographs of British Library collection items

Specialist digitisation

We have specialist expertise in handling a range of material types and managing complex preservation requirements

News

Coronavirus notice

26 May 2020

To keep our users and all our staff safe and healthy we’ve taken the decision to close our physical sites in London and Boston Spa for the time being, and suspend our public events.

British Library digitises 600-year old Malmesbury Bible

23 October 2019

The Friends of Malmesbury Abbey commissioned the British Library to digitise four volumes of its bible, known as the Malmesbury Bible, this summer. Malmesbury had one of the most important libraries in Europe in the Middle Ages and was home to 12th-century historian and monk William of Malmesbury.

Accessing British Library online content and services

19 March 2020

We’re gradually reopening our spaces to keep everyone safe, but we’re always open online.

Case studies

…"In addition to being a source for rare material, the British Library’s scanning services are excellent, producing high-quality images to the specifications we require" Paul Waldock, ProQuest…

In addition to being a source for rare material, the British Library’s scanning services are excellent, producing high-quality images to the specifications we require, thereby enabling projects to move forward in a smooth and efficient way

…"We were delighted with the British Library service offering onsite photography at our convenience: it was efficient and enjoyable, and produced the most beautiful images." John Sunderland, Friends of Malmesbury Abbey…

Malmesbury and its Abbey, had one of the most important libraries in Europe in the Middle Ages, and the famous historian William was from Malmesbury. The Friends of Malmesbury Abbey commissioned the British Library to digitise four volumes of the bible, known as the Malmesbury Bible earlier this summer.

…This project makes a number of our most important globes available beyond the British Library’s Reading Rooms and exhibition galleries, to a wider audience and in a more imaginative way than ever before.…

Using 3D photography, the British Library’s rare and fragile collection of historical globes have been digitised and made available for the public to discover via augmented reality.