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

Recording of the week: An RAF airman

Monday, November 21, 2022

This week’s post is by Steve Cleary, Lead Curator, Literary and Creative Recordings. The gentleman pictured above is Charles Gurney. Earlier this year, in September, I was contacted by his son, John Gurney, who asked me if we would be...

Learn more about Living with Machines at events this winter

Friday, October 28, 2022

Digital Curator, and Living with Machines Co-Investigator Dr Mia Ridge writes… The Living with Machines research project is a collaboration between the British Library, The Alan Turing Institute and various partner universities. Our free exhibition at Leeds City Museum, Living...

‘Under The Mantle Of Plague’: A British Medical Mission To East Persia In 1897

Monday, October 10, 2022

On the morning of the 30 June 1897, in the Iranian province of Sistan, two men entered the camp of Lieutenant-Colonel George Washington Brazier-Creagh. They were kadkhodas, leaders from nearby villages, come to reassure the touring medical officer that they...

New online - August 2022

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

We have another four projects that recently went online to highlight this month, including two from Peru: Manuscripts and Documents at the Biblioteca Generale di Terra Santa: the second step [EAP1142] The Ancash Community Archive Digitisation (ACAD) Project, Peru [EAP1325]...

Latest modern history blog posts