Electronic resources

A computer keyboard

We collect thousands of electronic journals, books and websites and hundreds of databases. You need to come to the Library to access the majority of these resources.

You need to use PCs in our Reading Rooms to access the majority of our electronic resources. A small number can be accessed on a personal device.

A Reader Pass will allow you to enter our Reading Rooms. Some resources are unavailable in our Boston Spa Reading Room.

You can search or browse for resources available:

Or search the Library’s main catalogue, Explore the British Library.

Resources include:

  • bibliographic databases
  • indexing/abstracting databases
  • full text databases
  • journal and ebook collections
  • websites recommended by our staff.

If you’re looking for a specific ebook, or ejournal, search for the title in our catalogue, Explore the British Library.

Remote access

A small number of Library subscribed resources are available to Readers outside of our Reading Rooms. Readers can access these with our Remote Eresources service.

CD-ROM resources

Some of our CD-ROM resources are only available from a standalone computer terminal in one of the Library's Reading Rooms. For the location of the computer terminal, refer to the resource description.

Terms & Conditions for downloading Business & IP resources

Most of the Business & IP resources allow downloading and emailing of some of their content.

Downloading takes place at the Reference Enquiry desk, so please make a note of the content you want.

Please note this service is delivered with the following conditions:

  • All downloading is subject to licensing terms and conditions set by the database publishers. All restrict downloaded information to:
    • Personal use only
    • One instance per person, organisation, institution, team or group of people visiting the Business & IP Centre.
  • Publishers may change or cancel these downloading conditions without prior notice.
  • Library staff are obliged to ensure compliance with the terms, and may refuse downloading requests.
  • The downloading service is subject to staff availability. It may be withdrawn or reduced during busy times, or when fewer staff are available.

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

Spanish printed collections

Includes 16,600 Spanish books published before 1801

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

Dutch printed collections

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

Thomason Tracts

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

Burney collection

Largest single collection of 17th and 18th-century English newspapers available

Scandinavian printed collections

One of the richest collections of books from the Scandinavian countries

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin collection of books

Garrick Collection of English Plays

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

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.