The British Library has a wealth of material to support your research on law. You'll find legislation, cases and traditional legal commentary. You can also explore diverse perspectives on law. You will find these in the literature of varied academic disciplines and in resources from oral history recordings to industry news.

Collection guides

Social Sciences Reading Room in the British Library

Social Sciences Reading Room

You’ll need a Reader Pass to:

  • View our extensive open access collection material
  • Access online databases and electronic books and journals
  • Use our catalogues to order items from our extensive reference collection

If you need help, please ask our specialists at the enquiry desk.

We offer free Discovery and 1-2-1 Sessions to help you make the best use of the Library's collections. 

Mon: 10.00 – 20.00
Tue – Thu: 09.30 – 20.00
Fri – Sat: 09.30 – 17.00
Sun & English Public Holidays: closed

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

For enquiries, please contact the Social Science Reference Team

Blog posts

Converting Privy Council Appeals Metadata to Linked Data

Friday, February 2, 2018

To continue the series of posts on metadata about appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, this post describes the process of converting this data to Linked Data. In the previous post, I briefly explained the concept of...

Linking Privy Council Appeals Data

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This post continues a series of blog posts relating to a PhD placement project that seeks to make data about appeals heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) available in new formats, to enhance discoverability, and to...

Cleaning and Visualising Privy Council Appeals Data

Thursday, December 21, 2017

This blog post continues a recent post on the Social Sciences blog about the historical context of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), useful collections to support research and online resources that facilitate discovery of JCPC appeal cases....

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council: a short introduction, sources for research and appeal case metadata.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Over the next few weeks, here on the Social Science blog and on the Digital Scholarship blog, Jonathan Sims and Sarah Middle will discuss work done at the British Library to provide insights into appeal cases heard by the Judicial...

More blog posts


National Life Stories: Legal Lives

In-depth interviews with people involved in the legal and criminal justice system

All projects

Case studies

…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.

…The range of materials available allows me to examine how ideas have unfolded…

Toby Austin Locke explains how he uses government publications.

External links

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Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

The national research library for law

Socio-Legal Studies Association

Where law meets the social sciences and humanities