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

Collection guides

Desks, shelving and Readers in the Science Reading Rooms at 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 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

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

Science case studies

More Case studies
…You get to know how people work in an institution like this... it's something I would like to do as well.…

Exploring the working life of a twentieth-century scientist through the archive of John Maynard Smith.

Blog posts

At the crossroads of cultures: a Hebrew manuscript of Johannes Sacrobosco’s De sphaera mundi

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The first printed books were often imitations of manuscripts in their layout: the same types of letters and the same letter combinations (ligatures) were used, and often the same illuminators added the decorations by hand in the same style they...

The Subterranean World

Friday, July 31, 2020

For centuries scholars speculated about the Earth’s composition with many believing that our planet’s centre was occupied by an eternal inferno. By the mid-17th century geographers were attempting to describe man’s physical environment and maps played an important part in...

Sir Andrew Scott Waugh and the naming of Everest

Thursday, July 30, 2020

In a letter from Charles Canning, Governor General and Viceroy of India to Lord Elgin, dated 2 October 1861, he writes that Lady Canning has set out on a trip to Darjeeling and that she talks of going into Sikkim...

Oral History of British Science and transnational history

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Transnational histories of science as told through interviews for An Oral of British Science.

More blog posts

Projects

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