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

Graham Greene and the curse of the sausage roll: an image of class and disgust in Brighton Rock

Friday, January 18, 2019

by Barry Taylor, Curator of Romance Studies. You can read more about the Library's holdings related to Brighton Rock here. Students of Brighton Rock in the BL can read, in addition to the original novel, the French, Polish and Finnish...

Harold Pinter: A Line, A Word, An Image

Friday, January 11, 2019

Today we launch a Harold Pinter retrospective in our Second Floor Gallery as part of the wider anniversary season of events marking ten years since his death. Focusing on Pinter’s creative process, this free display of manuscript reproductions from his...

The Sun-Artist, the Typewriter and Bridge of the Ford

Friday, January 4, 2019

A guest blog by Susan Connolly, whose poetry pamphlet, The Sun-Artist, was published by Shearsman Books in 2013, and was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets. The Sun-Artist will be on display in the Treasures Gallery until...

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets Announce 2018 Winners

Saturday, December 15, 2018

By Imogen Durant, PhD Placement Student working on the library’s contemporary British poetry pamphlets and artists’ books. On Tuesday 11th December the British Library hosted the 10th Awards Ceremony of the Michael Marks Awards. Luke Thompson of Guillemot Press won...

More blog posts

Related events

Talks and Discussions

Around The World in 10 Cats

Discover some of the finest cats in world literature

Talks and Discussions

Cats vs. Dogs: A Literary Showdown

Which makes the better author's pet?

Special Event

Cats Book Club: Cats in Graphic Novels

Go between the lines of literary felines

Special Event

Cats Book Club: The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Discover the contemporary cat literature currently flourishing in Japan

View all events


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

…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.