Our resources support the needs of specialists working in academia and business, and can support multidisciplinary research interests

Collection guides

  • The Human Genome

    Science overview

    We support the needs of specialists working in academia and business, and can support multidisciplinary research interests
  • Magnifying glass on computer

    Science electronic resources

    We subscribe to a large and growing number of electronic resources and bibliographic databases
  • Pantents diagram


    The British Library is the UK’s national patent library
  • Warbler

    Wildlife and environmental sounds

    The largest collection of its kind in Europe and the most comprehensive in the world
Science Reading Rooms in the British Library

Science Reading Rooms

Floor 2 focuses on Medicine and Life Sciences, Floor 3 focuses on Physical Sciences and Engineering.

  • Find information on the open-access shelves
  • Access online databases and electronic books and journals
  • Order collection items to the Reading Rooms via our catalogues

If you need help, please ask our Reference Specialists at the Enquiry desk or contact the Science Reference Service Team.

We offer free Discovery and 1-2-1 Sessions to help you make the best use of the Library's collections. 

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Mon: 10.00 – 20.00
Tue – Thu: 09.30 – 20.00
Fri – Sat: 09.30 – 17.00
Sun & English Public Holidays: closed

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

News stories

The next TalkScience@BL event: "Replace, Reduce, Refine: Animals in Research"

27 September 2016

Join us to discuss the changing use of animals in scientific research and testing

Announcing our next TalkScience@BL event: "Doping in sport: fair game?"

26 May 2016

Join our expert panel to debate the ethical, social and legal implications of doping in sport

Blog posts

Call the medieval midwife

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tucked away in a 14th-century encyclopaedia and bestiary is an oath written alongside a black cross. The person who made it had borrowed the book, and identified themselves as ‘abestetrix heifmoeder’ (echoing the Latin ‘obstetrix’, meaning ‘midwife’). Midwifery was as...

Memories of Stephen Hawking in An Oral History of British Science

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A number of interviews recorded for An Oral History of British Science at the British Library speak of Stephen Hawking in their interviews

Working with BL Labs in search of Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The 19th Century British Library Newspapers Database offers a rich mine of material to be sourced for a comprehensive view of British life in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The online archive comprises 101 full-text titles of local, regional,...

Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

In 1967, Jehovah's Witnesses publish a little blue volume asking Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation? Half a century later, a copy shows up in the British Library, in a box of books left as part of...

More blog posts


Access to Understanding

Access to Understanding is a collaboration, led by the British Library, which unites individuals and organisations that want to promote wider understanding of biomedical research findings.

THOR: Technical and Human Infrastructure for Open Research

An EC Funded project to establish seamless integration between articles, data, and researchers across the research lifecycle

All projects

External links

The British Library is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Access to Understanding

improve public understanding of the latest biomedical and health research findings


Gray's anatomy book cover

Gray's Anatomy

Using sumptuous illustrations and clear, matter-of-fact descriptions, Dr. Gray unleashed a classic on the world more than 100 years ago.


How to Cure the Plague

How to Cure the Plague

Julian Walker presents a fascinating illustrated compilation of some of the most curious and disturbing cures from history, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.