Self-guided visit - Secondary

Monday to Friday, 12:00 - 13:00 or 15:00 - 16:00, Additional times may be offered subject to availability: please contact us to enquire FREE
Girl looking closely at item in exhibition
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For Years 7 - 13

Self-guided visits to the Library are available throughout the year. This flexible option enables teachers to lead a group themselves, taking in different parts of the Library’s public spaces and the permanent exhibition in our Treasures Gallery along with changing displays in our Second Floor Gallery.

Self-guided visits can be booked in their own right or combined with a workshop session. Visit slots last for one hour, must be booked in advance and are offered subject to availability of our spaces. 

New self-guided supporting resources will be available onsite from late September onwards to support and enrich your visit.

What you can expect to see during a self-guided visit

The British Library is a thriving hub of activity every day, with visitors coming for a huge range of purposes such as to research new ideas, revise for exams, meet with friends or find inspiration in our exhibitions and from the building itself. We believe that seeing this busy space in action is a valuable part of any visit for a group of learners.

Your learners will gain an appreciation of the Library’s building and architecture, both inside and out. They can see the seven-story King’s Library Tower that runs through the centre of the building, wonder where all the books are kept and view a myriad of art and sculpture dotted around the public spaces.

During your visit, take time to see some of the Library’s most precious items on display in the Treasures Gallery. The gallery houses a wealth of beautiful illuminated manuscripts, maps and music; an abundance of sacred texts; important historical documents such as the Magna Carta with rare and ornate books and objects such as Jane Austen’s writing desk, as well as sound recordings and much more. There are also two temporary displays in the Treasures Gallery for your learners to see.


What's on?

Treasures temporary exhibition

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company: Staging Gilbert and Sullivan, 3 September - 8 December 2019

Explore original manuscripts, costume designs and photographs from over 100 years of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and their iconic productions of the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. 

Second Floor Gallery 

Sacred Laos in Photographs: The Monks' Gaze, 1 November 2019 - 9 February 2020 

Discover the daily rites and rituals at the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang situated along the Mekong River. These photographs, often taken by monks and housed within monasteries depict day-to-day life for both the monastic and lay communities.


Age group: Years 7 - 13
When: Monday to Friday, 12:00 - 13:00 or 15:00 - 16:00, Additional times may be offered subject to availability: please contact us to enquire
Length: 1 hour
Group size: Maximum group size - 35
Price: Admission: Free entry
Where: British Library St Pancras
Enquiries: (0)20 7412 7797
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