Our collections are a rich resource for understanding British life from the post-War period to the present day. They span the range of published formats, as well as manuscripts, archives and sound recordings.

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

Case studies

More Case studies
…The UK Web Archive is a fantastic resource for researchers…

Neema used the UK Web Archive to explore how ethnic minorities voted in the EU Referendum.

…Working with the British Library has enabled me to get my research out there beyond academia.…

How smartphones are changing storytelling: Alastair Horne, PhD student.

…To create an archive which will be part of the Library is really a privilege…

Dvora is a collaborative PhD student exploring the social world of Crown Court clerks from the 1970s onwards.

Library experts

Jeremy Jenkins

Curator, Emerging Media, Contemporary British Publications

Jonnie Robinson

Lead Curator, Spoken English

Mary Stewart

Curator, Oral History, and Deputy Director of National Life Stories

Dr Luke McKernan

Lead Curator, News and Moving Image

More staff members

Blog posts

UK Communities online - Enthusiasts and Hobbyists

Thursday, September 9, 2021

By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, The British Library Over the next few months we will be looking at some of the communities in the UK and how they have used the web. Look out for #UKCommunitiesOnline on twitter....

Important information for email subscribers

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Unfortunately, the third-party platform that the British Library uses for email notifications for our Blogs is making changes to its infrastructure. This means that, from August 2021, we anticipate that email notifications will no longer be sent to subscribers (although...

‘Like tripe on a slab’: women’s accounts of reproductive healthcare provision in Spare Rib magazine are now available through the Library’s digital map.

Friday, July 30, 2021

A guest post by Alice O’Driscoll Find out more about the letters and listings made available via the Library's Spare Rib magazine digital map. Spare Rib 6 December 1972 p. 27 © Sue Coe, courtesy Galerie St. Etienne When Jo...

Hundreds of definitions for a big word: The Refugee Dictionary comes to the British Library

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

To mark the 70th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention, the charity UK for UNHCR has created a dictionary with a thousand definitions of one word: refugee. A copy of this work has been presented to the British Library.

More blog posts

Projects

Emerging Formats

This project builds our ability to collect publications designed for mobile devices that respond to reader interaction or are structured as databases.

Save our Sounds

Save our Sounds is our programme to preserve the nation’s sound heritage.

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets

The Michael Marks Awards support innovation in UK poetry.

Know Your Place - West of England

A crowd-sourcing digital mapping project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

All projects