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

‘Fulbrighters’: the US-UK Fulbright Commission Alumni

Thursday, September 20, 2018

In this second blogpost relating to the US-UK Fulbright Commission Archive recently acquired by the British Library, Eleanor Casson looks at the newsletters of the British Fulbright Scholars Association (BFSA) and the Alumni of the US-UK Fulbright Commission. For more...

Seeing sound: What is a spectrogram?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Greg Green, Audio Project Cataloguer for Unlocking our Sound Heritage writes: In this digital age, most of us are familiar with audio waveforms, the ‘wavy’ images that represent the dynamic course of a particular sound recording. Waveforms are in fact...

Mary Jane Long

Friday, September 14, 2018

MJ Long, who died recently, was one of the key architects of the British Library. She was interviewed interviewed by Jill Lever for Architects' Lives in 1997-98.

Windrush Sounds

Thursday, September 13, 2018

by Callum McKean, Curator of Contemporary Literary Archives and Manuscripts, who assisted on the sound selections for the exhibition Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land, on display in the Entrance Hall of the Library until 21st October 2018. More details...

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.