Can I copy material in the Reading Rooms?

Reading Room  Paul Grundy
Reading Room Paul Grundy

If you're using our Reading Rooms, there are a range of options available to copy our material

Yes, there are a range of options for copying items in the British Library’s Reading Rooms. In summary you can:

  • Use the self-service photocopiers or scanners available in most Reading Rooms
  • Take a photograph of the material yourself using a compact camera, tablet or mobile phone
  • Have the material you want copied by a member of staff
  • Use our Sound and Moving Image Copying Services to make copies of sound and video recordings.

The options above are covered in more detail in the information about copying services at the St Pancras Reading Rooms, including any prices and restrictions applicable. All of the options are subject to varying preservation and copyright restrictions, so you should check that you are able to copy the material you want using the option you want. If in doubt, ask a member of Library staff. They will be able to advise you what you are allowed to copy and which option would be best for your needs.

Collection guides

The King's Library

The collection of George III includes thousands of books and pamphlets

Russian avant-garde collections

An extensive collection of avant-garde books of the early 20th century

French Revolutionary Tracts

50,000 books, pamphlets and periodicals printed in France between the 1780s and 1840s

French printed collections

Incunabula, books, journals, maps and music

Modern Greek printed collections

One of the world's finest collections of Greek and Cyprus imprints

Italian printed collections

Our Italian collections cover all periods and a wide variety of subjects

Portuguese printed collections

Contemporary and antiquarian material, including 225 books published in Portugal before 1601

Digitised printed books (18th-19th century)

Over 60,000 out-of-copyright digitised books from the 18th and 19th century available for viewing, search, download and digital research.

German printed collections

Early and modern material printed in the German-speaking countries

Spanish printed collections

Includes 16,600 Spanish books published before 1801

Dutch printed collections

Publications covering a wide range of subjects and periods from the Dutch-speaking territories

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin collection of books

Scandinavian printed collections

One of the richest collections of books from the Scandinavian countries

Garrick Collection of English Plays

David Garrick's collection of 16th and 17th-century printed plays

Thomason Tracts

A key source for the English Civil War in the mid-17th century