Our extensive collections from the Romance-speaking countries of Europe include materials in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan and Occitan, as well as in non-Romance languages such as Modern Greek, Basque and Breton.

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

Blog posts

BL Labs Public Awards 2020: enter before 0700 GMT Monday 30 November 2020!

Friday, September 11, 2020

The sixth BL Labs Public Awards 2020 formally recognises outstanding and innovative work that has been carried out using the British Library’s data and / or digital collections by researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, students and the general public. The closing...

Edward Spencer Dodgson, an English eccentric

Friday, September 11, 2020

The English are often portrayed as reluctant learners of foreign languages. However, there have been exceptions. One such was Edward Spencer Dodgson, who successfully mastered the Basque language. Spoken today by some 850,000 people on both sides of the western...

Gianni Rodari, the logic of fantasy (part 1)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Gianni Rodari (1920-1980) is regarded as the father of modern Italian children’s literature and we celebrate his fantastic contribution to literature and education in the year of his triple anniversary. 100 years since his birth, 40 years since his death, and 50 years since his “Little Nobel”, namely the Hans Christian Andersen Writing Award, his books are still inspiring all sorts of cultural events in Italy. Last March, for instance, his iconic Favole al telefono triggered “Pronto, chi favola?”, a free storytelling service on demand set up spontaneously by actors to uplift children at home during the COVID-19 lockdown: every day from 4 to 8 pm, an actor rings a child to read over the phone one of the 70 fables included in the book.

Translation and melancholy

Friday, July 31, 2020

Fray Manuel de Vega translated the biography of Ludovico Sforza from the Italian of Diego (i.e. Giacomo) Monti in 1699. It recounts Sforza’s life as a warning against overwhelming ambition. (The Library of Catalonia holds a digitised copy) Fr.Manuel opens...

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Library experts

Valentina Mirabella

Curator in Romance Languages

Romance languages case studies

Shop

Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature

In 18th-century France, censors navigated the intricacies of royal privilege in a working collaboration with authors and booksellers on the making of literature.

£25

Out Of This World

From the works of Cyrano de Bergerac to Ray Bradbury, this book reveals the full heritage and wonder of science fiction.

£16.96