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

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.

Library experts

Jeremy Jenkins

Curator, Emerging Media, Contemporary British Publications

Jonnie Robinson

Lead Curator, Spoken English

Mary Stewart

Lead Curator, Oral History, and Director of National Life Stories

Stephen Cleary

Lead Curator, Literary and Creative Recordings

More staff members

Blog posts

Cats on the web and in the web archive

Monday, August 8, 2022

By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, British Library Domestic cats have featured in human life for thousands of years. They can make an incredible impact on many of our lives and even if you don’t have one, you may...

Black Women’s Activism in the Americas

Monday, August 8, 2022

The Eccles Centre recently hosted a one-day symposium on Black Women’s Activism in the Americas, in collaboration with the Society for the History of Women in the Americas (SHAW). The day included a Show and Tell for the delegates, inspired...

Recording of the week: Women’s work on the record

Monday, August 1, 2022

This week’s post comes from Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, Data protection and Rights Clearance Officer. Above: Wartime Activities, women picking fruit, Bedfordshire, 1941. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Source: LSE Library. One of the many joys of oral history is learning about...

Web archiving the UEFA Women’s Euros in Wigan

Friday, July 29, 2022

By Georgina Bentley, Service Manager Community-based Customer & Cultural Services at Wigan Council Introduction The Heritage Fund awarded £500,000 to a programme which is recording the hidden history of women’s football and launched a celebration of the game, its players,...

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