Improvements to ordering Explore Archives and Manuscripts items

Screenshot of the Library's catalogue, Explore Archives and Manuscripts

You can now order Archives and Manuscripts from the catalogue record

Published date:

The catalogue contains records from a number of collections. Some, but not all records found in the catalogue, can be requested to a Reading Room. Some of those that can be requested may require an appointment.

Click on the record’s ‘I want this’ tab to see whether the item can be requested. The services available for an item will display in this tab. The services seen depend on the item's Collection Area and the type of item that the record describes. More than one service may display.

The services available are:

  • View online: digital item(s) – most EAP items are available to view online immediately, as are some Maps.
  • Deliver item to: The British Library’s Reading Rooms
    • Those Items that can be requested will display the shelfmark you need to enter having clicked ‘Go’ to link to the catalogue’s order system.
    • Some Items that can be requested require you to book an appointment to view the item in a particular room.
  • How to: Access this item
    • Items in some collections can only be seen by appointment. A contact email is supplied.
    • An item may be restricted for a number of reasons. For more information we advise you to contact
  • Find related records
    • Some items cannot be requested as they are not at an orderable level, e.g. a map within an archive. You need to browse the collection hierarchy to see how this item forms part of the collection and to find the orderable item.
    • Records for Person biographies, Family histories, Institution histories and Place Names do not represent collection items and cannot be requested. You should view the links in the Details tab to find related records.

To order items to a Reading Room follow the instructions in the 'I want this' tab. Online help is available.