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

Important information for email subscribers

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Unfortunately, the third-party platform that the British Library uses for email notifications for our Blogs is making changes to its infrastructure. This means that, from August 2021, we anticipate that email notifications will no longer be sent to subscribers (although...

The Backstory to Digitising the Barbados Gazette

Monday, August 23, 2021

Today is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Today also sees the launch of the second crowdsourcing task of the Agents of Enslavement project. To coincide with these two events we are delighted...

Catch-up: Histories and Archives of Arabic Publishing

Monday, August 23, 2021

(Left) Art work by Sudanese artist Ibrahim El Salahi (b. 1930) in issue 13 of Ḥiwār (1964), edited by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Sayigh (1923-1971). (British Library, 14599.e.69) (Right) Front cover of issue 7 (1963) of Ḥiwār magazine. (British Library, 14599.e.69)...

“We Must Speak with Our Bodies”

Monday, August 2, 2021

This blog by Louise Siddons is part of a special Summer Scholars blog series highlighting the recent research scholars and creatives associated with the Eccles Centre, including those supported by the Centre’s awards, have undertaken across the Library’s Americas collections....

Latest modern history blog posts