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

7 Days, Culture and the Arts

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

In this sixth and final post in a series about the radical New Left weekly newspaper '7 Days', Maxine Molyneux recalls her time as its Arts and Culture Editor and reflects on a unique experiment in cultural politics.

The Lotus Sutra Manuscripts Digitisation Project: the collaborative work between the Heritage Made Digital team and the International Dunhuang Project team

Monday, March 14, 2022

Digitisation has become one of the key tasks for the curatorial roles within the British Library. This is supported by two main pillars: the accessibility of the collection items to everybody around the world and the preservation of unique and...

Recording of the week: Neville Chamberlain and King George VI's broadcasts regarding Britain declaring war on Germany in 1939

Monday, February 14, 2022

This week's selection comes from Joseph McGeady, Learning Team Apprentice. The British Library has recently launched its Speaking Out website, an online resource exploring the importance of public speaking and debating through a collection of sound recordings from the Library’s...

Radical mapping

Friday, February 11, 2022

I recently participated in a discussion panel with the LivingMaps network as part of the launch of their ‘'New Directions in Radical Cartography: why the map is never the territory’. Edited by Prof Phil Cohen and Dr Mike Duggan, this...

Latest modern history blog posts