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

International Women's Day: Oral History highlights

Friday, March 8, 2019

To celebrate International Women’s Day, three colleagues from the British Library Sound Archive have handpicked three oral history interviews from National Life Stories collections.

The Making of ‘Dear John: The Kin Selection Controversy’. Part 2: From Idea to Event

Friday, March 8, 2019

Yesterday I explored some of the background of our upcoming performance ‘Dear John: The Kin Selection Controversy’ (15 March 2019). In this second part I will take you on a trip behind the scenes of developing this event. This year’s...

The Making of ‘Dear John: The Kin Selection Controversy’. Part 1: What’s It All About?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

William D. Hamilton: the Darwin of the twentieth century. John Maynard Smith: the senior statesman of British evolutionary biology. George R. Price: colleague of both – and intermediary between them. Their story is one of personal and professional grievances around...

Recording of the week: spontaneous mimicry on a yorkshire moor

Monday, March 4, 2019

This week's selection comes from Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds. Though many songbirds are capable of mimicry, it’s fair to say that some are more talented than others. The European Blackbird is one such example. From the...

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

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.