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

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: sheep gathering in Wales

Monday, December 9, 2019

This week's selection comes from Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds. Most of the library's wildlife recordings focus on the sounds of wild animals, whether that be singing birds in the Australian outback, echolocating dolphins in the Caribbean...

A tribute to Stephen Cleobury by Jessica Duchen

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Jessica Duchen pays tribute to Sir Stephen Cleobury who she interviewed for National Life Stories at the British Library.

Recording of the week: 'Power' by Adrienne Rich

Monday, November 25, 2019

This week's selection comes from Dr Eva del Rey, Curator of Drama and Literature Recordings and Digital Performance. This week’s recording of the week features American poet Adrienne Rich reading her poem ‘Power’. Rich is performing at the 1st International...

'Anything But Petering Out' - celebrating Peter Nichols at Trafalgar Studios

Thursday, November 21, 2019

by Zoë Wilcox, Curator of Contemporary Performance and Creative Archives In tribute to Peter Nichols who sadly died in September, Trafalgar Studios is staging an afternoon of readings on 27 November to celebrate his theatrical legacy, generously supported by 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.