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

The search for Franklin in the Barrow Bequest

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

An intriguing collection of manuscripts known as the Barrow Bequest was acquired by the British Museum in February 1899. The private collection was created by Sir John Barrow (1764–1848) and his son Colonel John Barrow (1808–1898) during their official careers...

Donald Michie: Interviewing Trofim Lysenko

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Left: Trofim Lysenko in 1938. Picture in public domain. Right: Donald Michie c. 1980s. (Add MS 88958/5/4). Reproduced with permission of the estate of Donald Michie. In August 1957, a 33-year-old Donald Michie travelled across Europe to visit Moscow. The...

Three men, a tobacco plant disease, and a virus.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The past year has seen many a new word popping up in our languages: Furlough (from the Dutch ‘verlof’ or paid leave), social distancing, lockdown, you name it. Most of these have ‘gone viral’, just like the virus itself. And...

Crowdsourcing in schools: The Land Utilisation Survey of Britain

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Crowdsourcing has become a popular and efficient way for projects of all kinds to involve wide audiences, and to harness the resources and expertise of the general public - the BL Maps Georeferencer platform is a fine example! Nowadays many...

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