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 free Discovery and 1-2-1 Sessions 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

Related events

Workshop FREE

Literature in Context

Monday to Friday

Evaluate the influence of social, historical and literary context on a variety of written texts.

Literature events at the British Library

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Looking for some inspiration?

View all events

Blog posts

Transparency and Too Much Information!!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Do you find yourself saying out loud what should really have stayed in your head? In the course of a short recent bus ride one passenger exclaimed to no-one in particular, “How am I supposed to get to work on...

Harry Potter meets the Middle Ages

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Harry Potter: A History of Magic has been a rip-roaring success. Not only has every session of every day of our exhibition sold out (a first for the British Library), and not only did we sell more advance tickets than...

A mammoth list of Digitised Manuscripts hyperlinks

Saturday, January 27, 2018

We have been hard at work here at the British Library and we are excited to share with you a brand new list of Digitised Manuscripts hyperlinks. You can currently view on Digitised Manuscripts no less than 1,943 manuscripts and...

Digging for inscriptions in medieval manuscripts

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Inscriptions are one of the key sources for understanding premodern history. Monuments carved in stone could outlast even the most carefully preserved papyri, and there are thousands of people in ancient times that go completely undocumented save for a single...

More blog posts