Our Germanic collections comprise historic and current material from Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland, from the Netherlands and Dutch/Flemish speaking Belgium, and from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

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

Blog posts

Astrid Roemer - unconventional, poetic and authentic

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Literary awards are given to authors for their work. Sometimes this leads to controversy, such as in the case of this year’s winning author of the prestigious Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (Dutch Literature Prize) Astrid Roemer. The prize is awarded...

Tove Jansson’s illustrations for Carroll and Tolkien

Monday, November 8, 2021

Naturally, we tend to focus on the Anglosphere legacies of English-language literary classics, but when it comes to fantasy fiction, like the works of Lewis Carroll and J. R. R. Tolkien, their international reception and illustrated editions are very much...

Investigating German colonialism in the British Library’s collections

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Content warning: This blog reproduces an image from a historical publication which is now considered racist Last week, the Zanzibari writer Abdulrazak Gurnah became the first black African author in 35 years to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Judges...

Sailing Away To A Distant Land - Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs - final post

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Posted by Mahendra Mahey, former Manager of British Library Labs or "BL Labs" for short [estimated reading time of around 15 minutes] This is is my last day working as manager of BL Labs, and also my final posting on...

More blog posts

Library experts

Marja Kingma

Curator, Germanic Collections

Susan Reed

Lead Curator, Germanic Studies

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Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature

In East Germany, the Communist Party's attempt to engineer literature yielded a range of outcomes including the complex negotiations behind some of the best-known works by German authors

£25

The Book of the British Library

As well as holding some of the world's most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is the repository of the nation's collective memory.

£25.00