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

BL Sports Word of the Year 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Jonnie Robinson, Lead Curator of Spoken English, writes: Congratulations, then, to Geraint Thomas, 2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY), and to the magnificent England Roses for this year’s Greatest Sporting Moment. Likewise to toxic and single-use – Word(s)...

Professor Kalwant Bhopal on social justice, exclusion and white privilege in universities

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Annual Equality Lecture with the British Sociological Association took place on 25 October 2018 ‘Education is a right, not a privilege’ (Kalwant Bhopal, 2018) On the 25 October this year the British Library and British Sociological Association were delighted...

More digital comics!

Friday, October 5, 2018

The British Library has been working with Comichaus to ensure that more UK independent comics can be collected and preserved

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

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.