If you're researching the social sciences you'll find a wealth of useful resources at the British Library. Our collections cover politics, economics, law, sociology, linguistics and many other subjects. We have a wide range of materials including official publications, legal documents, business literature, journals and oral histories.

Collection guides

Social Sciences Reading Room in the British Library

Social Sciences Reading Room

You’ll need a Reader Pass to:

  • View our extensive open access collection material
  • Access online databases and electronic books and journals
  • Use our catalogues to order items from our extensive reference collection

If you need help, please ask our specialists at the enquiry desk.

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

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

For enquiries, please contact the Social Science Reference Team

Blog posts

Learning from the Past: our new course for curious researchers starts today

Monday, September 3, 2018

Our new, free, online course Learning from the Past: A guide for the Curious Researcher, opens today, 3rd September 2018

‘The people we are writing for are the people we are fighting for’: Sivanandan as radical pamphleteer.

Friday, June 22, 2018

For more than forty years A. Sivanandan was at the forefront of debates on anti-racism and politics in Britain. Born in Jaffna in 1923 and educated in Colombo, he came to Britain in 1958, leaving the anti-Tamil riots in colonial...

Socio-Legal Sources and Methods in Social Welfare and Family Law

Friday, May 11, 2018

Does your research or practice touch on issues of family and social justice, social welfare law or sources and methods in socio-legal research more generally? If so then this month’s national socio-legal research workshop at the Institute of Advanced Legal...

Archiving Activism Website

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

PhD placement students, Rachel Tavernor and Catherine Oliver, in collaboration with the British Library, are launching a new website. In this post, Rachel discusses her work encountering stories of housing activism in the British Library. Later this year, Catherine will...

More blog posts

Projects

National Life Stories: Legal Lives

In-depth interviews with people involved in the legal and criminal justice system

All projects

External links

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

Business and Management Portal

High quality digital reports from the British Library’s collections.

Social Welfare Portal

Single point of access to the British Library's vast print and digital collections.