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

Classics lost and found

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Works written by ancient Greek and Roman authors have made a major impact on the world’s culture and society. They profoundly shaped medieval thought, as you can discover in Cillian O’Hogan’s article The Classical Past on the Polonsky England and...

Banned Books Week

Monday, September 23, 2019

Banned Books Week (22 – 28 Sept 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to the number of challenges to books in schools, bookshops and libraries. The theme for 2019...

Book Lovers Day

Friday, August 9, 2019

It turns out there really is a celebratory day for everything (yes, we’re still enjoying yesterday’s International Cat Day moment), and 9 August is no exception. Happy Book Lovers Day! To pay homage, Team Americas, Australasia and Eccles has picked...

Renaissance science works in Treasures of the British Library

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

To replace the Leonardo da Vinci items that are usually in our Treasures gallery, but are now in the stand-alone "A Mind in Motion" exhibition, our Manuscripts and Incunabula curators have selected some less well-known but very interesting items dealing...

More blog posts