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

    Patents

    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

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

Two recent flight-related additions to the Map Collection

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Today’s commercial pilots are well equipped to detect and fly over or around meteorological obstacles such as thunderstorms that lie in their path, so that as passengers behind we are rarely troubled by them. But imagine if you were flying...

Vaccination and the media - a 19th century debate

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Conspiracy theories capture the public’s interest and imagination. It’s evident in the documentaries about flat-earthers on Netflix, BBC podcasts about the anti-vaccination movement, and the panic surrounding the ‘Momo challenge’. The anti-vaccination movement, in particular, has been getting a lot...

Airey Neave: working for science in parliament

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Forty years since Airey Neave was killed in a car bomb attack, Emmeline Ledgerwood uses oral history to look at his long-standing parliamentary interest in science and technology.

Telephone Map of India 1934

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The files of the India Office contain many different kinds of maps of pre-1947 India, which give a fascinating visual representation of different aspects of the country. One striking example is a telephone map of India from 1934, showing projects...

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