Ask the Reference Enquiry Team

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Our Reference Enquiry Team can help you with short research enquiries

Quick Chat

Use our chat service for quick questions and get an instant reply.

Quick Chat is available: Monday to Friday: 10.00–17.00


For more detailed subject enquiries, or when Quick Chat is unavailable, Ask the Reference Team via email.

Follow us on Twitter @BL_Ref_ Services to keep up-to-date with developments.  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Our FAQs may be able to answer your query; they cover a range of topics.

Contacts for enquiries

Asian and African Studies Enquiries
(India Office Papers, oriental language publications and oriental language manuscripts)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7873
Email: Ask the Asian and African Studies Reference Team

Business & IP Enquiries
(Intellectual property, market reports, business start-up, patents)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7454
Email: Ask the Business & IP Reference Team

Humanities Enquiries
(Arts, Humanities, Library and Information Science)
T: +44 (0) 20 7412 7831
Email: Ask the Humanities Reference Team

Manuscripts Enquiries
(Western language manuscripts, archives and papers)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7513
Email: Ask the Manuscripts & Maps Reference Team

Maps Enquiries
(Printed maps, topographical drawings, globes)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7702
Email: Ask the Manuscripts & Maps Reference Team

Music Enquiries
(Printed music scores, manuscript music scores and papers)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7772
Email: Ask the Music Reference Team

News Enquiries
(Newspapers, broadcast media)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7377
Email: Ask the News Reference Team

Rare Books Enquiries
(Pre-1850 publications, incunabula, sales catalogues)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7772
Email: Ask the Rare Books Reference Team

Science Enquiries
(Science, technology, medicine)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7288
Email: Ask the Science Reference Team

Social Sciences Enquiries
(Social science, law, management, official and government publications)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7894
Email: Ask the Social Sciences Reference Team

Sound & Vision Enquiries
(Spoken word, music, wildlife and moving image recordings)
T: +44 (0)20 7412 7418
Email: Ask the Sound & Vision Reference Team

Written enquiries should be addressed to the relevant team (e.g. Humanities Enquiries) and sent to:

The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom