From Beowulf to the Brontës, from Shakespeare quartos to Wendy Cope’s emails, our collections offer an unparalleled resource for the study of English literature and British theatre. They cover a range of formats including archives and manuscripts, printed books 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

Blog posts

Artists’ Books Now: Writing evening 13 May 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Gill Partington, host of last week’s sell out Artists’ Books Now: Writing evening, shares some of her thoughts on the event the works and the artist in this guest blog Artist Sam Winston describing an example of asemic writing from...

Off the Page, Chapter 2

Friday, May 3, 2019

by Callum McKean, Curator of Contemporary Literary and Creative Archives. More details about Off the Page, with a full list of speakers, can be found here. As part of London’s Game Festival Fringe on Saturday 13th April, the British Library...

The Book of Hours

Friday, April 26, 2019

a guest blog by Lucy English, spoken word poet and Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She has two collection published by Burning Eye Press. The most recent, The Book of Hours, is the poetry from the online...

‘What Do I Know About Beckett?’: B.S. Johnson’s Beckett Notebook

Monday, April 15, 2019

a guest blog by Patrick Armstrong, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge.The Papers of BS Johnson are available to consult in the Manuscripts Reading Room (Add MS 89001). Learn more about some of the Libraries collections related to...

More blog posts

Projects

National Life Stories: Authors' Lives

In-depth interviews with leading authors working in Britain today

Off the Map: Videogame & Interactive Fiction Design Competition

A videogame and interactive fiction design competition for UK higher education students

All projects

Case studies

More Case studies
…A PhD can be a lonely journey, but collaborative PhDs are certainly not that.…

Investigating constructions of identity in the works and archive of the writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

…It will be in the British Library for eternity!…

Hannah's collaborative PhD research will lead to a new archive on black British poetry in performance.

…The research I did as an Edison Fellow at the British Library was invaluable for my PhD…

Alexis Bennett researched 1930s British film music as an Edison Fellow at the British Library.

…we felt like we had a bond with everybody…

Jessica Rodgers took part in our Writing London project in 2012 engaging young people aged 16-24, outside of formal education, with library and heritage collections.