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

Artists’ Books Now: 'Place'

Friday, October 12, 2018

by Jeremy Jenkins, Curator of Contemporary British Publications and Emerging Media. ARTIST’S BOOKS NOW is curated by the book artists and researchers Egidija Čiricaitė and Sophie Loss and the librarians Jeremy Jenkins and Richard Price. Each event explores an aspect...

More digital comics!

Friday, October 5, 2018

The British Library has been working with Comichaus to ensure that more UK independent comics can be collected and preserved

Sound, stories and new perspectives: site-specific curated sound tours of the British Library

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Have you ever wandered around the British Library in St Pancras and been intrigued the art, architecture and spaces? Have you ever wanted to hear more voices from the many narrators in the sound collections? Then lucky you – we have the perfect way for you to spend 40 minutes of your time this October!

‘This art, at once so beautiful and so ungrateful…’ Celebrating World Ballet Day

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

‘Terpsichore is a jealous goddess,’ warns the ‘Advice to Those Contemplating the Study of Dancing’ which opens A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Classical Theatrical Dancing, in which Cyril W. Beaumont and Stanislas Idzikowski expound the methods developed...

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

…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.