Our collections and resources cover all the arts and humanities in hundreds of languages and a broad range of formats, from the earliest written records to the latest digital collections. Together, they represent a vast and unique resource for the understanding of human experience, history, culture and society.

Collection guides

Reading Room  Paul Grundy

St Pancras Reading Rooms

At St Pancras we have 11 Reading Rooms, each specialising in a different subject area or type of material and with different opening hours. In our Reading Rooms you can:

  • Consult books, journals and other items from our collections
  • Access a wide range of electronic resources and electronic journals
  • Consult subject guides, bibliographies and other research aids

If you need help, please ask our Reference Specialists at the enquiry desks or contact the Reference Service.

We offer a range of free Reader sessions and 1-2-1 consultations to help you make the best use of the Library's collections.

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

Projects

British Library Translator in Residence

A new residency scheme supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Two Centuries of Indian Print

An international collaboration to digitise South Asian printed books

Chevening Fellowships

Year-long professional development projects for emerging global leaders

Africa's Sons Under Arms

Exploring the history of the British West India Regiments to understand changes in racial thought

All projects

Blog posts

Spreading the word: a tribute to ancient teachers

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Greek and Latin papyri, ostraca and tablets of the British Library provide incomparably rich sources for learning about ordinary people, whose lives and words remained otherwise unrecorded for many centuries. One of the most intriguing perspectives these sources reveal...

Our latest list of digitised manuscripts

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Long-term readers of our Blog may know that we periodically publish lists of our digitised manuscripts, the last of which was published in January 2020. With the arrival of summer, we are releasing a new update to our lists of...

“To Mr Pope att Button’s Coffee House”: translating Homer on scraps

Friday, June 19, 2020

by Tabitha Driver, Cataloguer Modern Archives & Manuscripts. Find out more about the Library's collections of material relating to Alexander Pope on Discovering Literature. Though we have been unable to explore physical collections directly during the last few months, their...

A history of the book in seven objects

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Books surround us. We have them in our homes, kitchens, beds and bathrooms. Supplied by bookstores and libraries, we can even read them on our kindles and phones or listen to them through earphones. What we may not realise, however,...

More blog posts