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 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

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

Recording of the week: starling mimicry

Monday, January 14, 2019

This week's selection comes from Greg Green, Audio Project Cataloguer for Unlocking Our Sound Heritage. Learning to identify bird song can be tricky at the best of times; to the untrained ear it can all sound remarkably similar. To add...

Harold Pinter: A Line, A Word, An Image

Friday, January 11, 2019

Today we launch a Harold Pinter retrospective in our Second Floor Gallery as part of the wider anniversary season of events marking ten years since his death. Focusing on Pinter’s creative process, this free display of manuscript reproductions from his...

Digital Conversations @BL: Data, Place and Digital Economies

Friday, January 11, 2019

As part of our Digital Conversations series, we invite you to join us for an evening discussing the use of place data in understanding politics and economies; this takes place on Tuesday 29 January, 18:30 - 20:30, in the British...

Archiving Activism: The Animal Guide

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Catherine Oliver writes about the online collection she has curated which explores Animal Rights Activism Animal Rights Activism has a long history in the UK, and with a growing surge in ethical veganism, environmental awareness, and the health-based evidence turning...

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

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.