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

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: night in a várzea forest by boat

Monday, January 20, 2020

This week’s selection comes from Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds. Rainforests are noisy places, even after dark. This recording was made in one of the Amazon’s many várzea or floodplain forests, in the dead of night, by...

INTRODUCING THE WISE FESTIVAL (WOMEN IN SCIENCE EVENTS) – 11 February 2019

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The British Library is joining in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrating and raising the voices of women in science with a one day mini festival. Our events and talks will encourage you to laugh, sing...

Recording of the week: Pinglish code-switching

Monday, January 13, 2020

This week's selection comes from Jonnie Robinson, Lead Curator of Spoken English. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Adam Cohn Many bilingual speakers demonstrate a fascinating tendency to code-switch – that is they alternate between different languages as circumstance dictates, generally subconsciously and...

Recording of the week: why you should listen to the common eider duck

Monday, January 6, 2020

This week's selection comes from Eve-Marie Oesterlen, Lead Metadata Manager for the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage. As Lead Metadata Manager for the Unlocking Our Sound project I have less time than I would like to listen to the sonic treasures...

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