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

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

Dr Luke McKernan

Lead Curator, News and Moving Image

More staff members

Blog posts

Reflecting on activism and protest around the Disability Discrimination Act

Thursday, December 2, 2021

To highlight disability stories for Disability History Month, curator Eleanor Dickens presents collection items linked to protest around the Disability Discrimination Act alongside commentary from a member of the British Library’s Disability Support Network.

Six months that launched the Seventies

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Anthony Barnett's guest post recalls his time as a member of the editorial collective of a little-known revolutionary weekly newspaper entitled '7 Days'. He recounts how he became involved, what he saw as being at stake, the experience of producing it, and how it influenced him.

Gerry and Paula discuss Paula’s severe social anxiety

Thursday, November 25, 2021

An interview from The Listening Project looked at for Disability History Month

Shoot Me with Flowers

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The British Library’s Caribbean Collections recently acquired a beautifully compact volume of poetry by the writer John Agard. Shoot Me with Flowers was the writer’s first collection of poetry which he self-published in his birth home Guyana. Jon Purday, a...

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