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

  • Clive Myrie presenting BBC News

    Television and radio news

    The Broadcast News service provides onsite access to recent news programmes
  • Stanley Ellis (SED fieldworker) and Tom Maddison  c.1967

    English accents and dialects

    We have an extensive collection of spoken voice recordings
  • Screenshot of OS Viewer

    Digital mapping

    Geospatial data, cartographic applications, digital aerial photography and scanned-in historic map materials
  • Kiev political debate

    Oral history

    One of the largest collections of oral history and life story interviews in the world
  • Nathan King

    Pop music recordings

    We hold one of the most wide-ranging collections of popular music in the world
  • UK Web Archive

    UK Web Archive

    Preserved web resources of scholarly and cultural importance from the UK domain
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

Cataloguing James Berry

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

By Callum McKean, Curator of Contemporary Literary Archives and Manuscripts. The James Berry Archive, which was acquired by the Library in 2012, is comprised of twenty-eight boxes containing drafts, notebooks, diaries, correspondence and audio-visual material spanning Berry’s fifty year career....

Recording of the week: exploding seed pods

Monday, July 9, 2018

This week's selection comes from Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife and Environmental Sounds. The soaring temperatures of summer can have explosive results, especially if you happen to be standing near a gorse bush. This thorny, evergreen shrub produces an unmistakable...

Recording of the week: "There was always the smell" - inter-generational memories of the steel industry

Monday, June 25, 2018

This week's selection comes from Charlie Morgan, Oral History Archive & Administrative Assistant. The last time I wrote a recording of the week post it was about the artist Michael Rothenstein’s memories of growing up in the Cotswolds (C466/02). For...

Introducing the Women of Windrush

Friday, June 22, 2018

Guyana-born writer and teacher Beryl Gilroy with her pupils, image courtesy of the Estate of Beryl Gilroy. On Monday 25 June the British Library in association with Wasafiri, the Magazine of International Contemporary writing, will be hosting Windrush Women: Past...

More blog posts

Projects

Save our Sounds

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

Know Your Place - West of England

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

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets

The Michael Marks Awards support innovation in UK poetry.

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.