Filming and photography

Image of filming taking place at the British Library
Information and guidelines about filming and photography at the Library, including how to make a request to film

Filming at the British Library

All filming at the British Library must be arranged through our Press Office in advance and supervised by a trained member of staff. If you would like to interview or speak with a curator, the Press Office will liaise with them on your behalf.

To make a request, you should in the first instance complete a filming application form and send to

We typically require two to three weeks to process a filming request, in order to make the necessary arrangements and get conservation clearances, locations and contracts in place. 

The standard location fee for filming at the British Library is £300+VAT per hour or £350+VAT per hour when filming with collection items.  The location fee includes an inbuilt licence of worldwide, all media rights for up to ten years.  Please note that crews with more than eight members will be subject to additional charges and we do not grant rights in perpetuity.

Anyone wishing to film at the British Library is encouraged to use the collections to carry out independent research, and to approach the Press Office with a list of specific requests for consideration. How to register as a Reader and do research at the British Library

Filming is not permitted in the Reading Rooms or exhibition galleries during opening hours.

A signed contract is required before any filming takes place.

Filming companies are responsible for clearing the rights of collection items used.

B-roll footage of the British Library

We have pre-recorded broadcast-quality footage of the British Library’s spaces available on request. Please contact the Press Office to enquire about using this footage.

Watch this introduction to the Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation Project


Photography around the building

Visitors to the British Library are welcome to take photographs in our public areas. However photography is not permitted in the exhibition spaces or Reading Rooms. Flash photography should also be avoided around the King’s Library.

For the consideration of our readers and visitors, photography is restricted to handheld equipment only.

In exceptional circumstances use of a tripod and other equipment may be permitted, but must be arranged in advance with the Press Office.

If you wish to use the British Library for a commercial photo shoot, this will need to be arranged in advance with the Press Office and will incur a location charge.

British Library images

Downloadable, high-resolution press images of our buildings, exhibitions and projects are available for media use only.

For all other types of image use please contact our Images Online team. For information on how to reproduce British Library images for commercial purposes, contact the British Library Permissions team.