The British Library holds a wealth of resources relating to the history of the UK and Ireland, from printed books, newspapers and pamphlets to manuscript diaries, letters and maps.

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

Over 500 collection items from the British Library and institutions across Europe

Blog posts

Six months that launched the Seventies

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Anthony Barnett's guest post recalls his time as a member of the editorial collective of a little-known revolutionary weekly newspaper entitled '7 Days'. He recounts how he became involved, what he saw as being at stake, the experience of producing it, and how it influenced him.

Football fanzines from print to the digital age: call for academic partners

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

This post details the British Library's current call for academics at UK universities and Higher Education Institutions to collaborate with us on a jointly-supervised doctoral research project on 'Football fanzines and fan communities in the digital age: challenges for publishing, reading and collecting fanzines'. Deadline for applications is 10 December 2021.

Recording of the week: James Baldwin at the Cambridge Union

Monday, November 8, 2021

By Steve Cleary, Lead Curator, Literary and Creative Recordings. The British Library launches a new web resource this week. It is called 'Speaking Out', and it seeks to explore the spoken word in its most forceful guise: that of the...

Red Élisabeth: Émigré, Intellectual, Organiser, Communarde

Monday, November 1, 2021

The current struggle can only end with the triumph of the popular cause [...] Paris will not retreat, because it carries the flag of the future. These words are taken from the manifesto of the Paris Commune’s largest and most...

Latest modern history blog posts