Our visual arts collections include paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture and historical furniture.

Collection guides

Reading Room  Paul Grundy

St Pancras Reading Rooms

At St Pancras we have 11 Reading Rooms, each specialising in a different subject area or type of material and with different opening hours. In our Reading Rooms you can:

  • Consult books, journals and other items from our collections
  • Access a wide range of electronic resources and electronic journals
  • Consult subject guides, bibliographies and other research aids

If you need help, please ask our Reference Specialists at the enquiry desks or contact the Reference Service.

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

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

Blog posts

The emperor and the Sun King

Saturday, December 3, 2022

As the creator of one of the first and largest multicultural empires of the ancient world, Alexander the Great inspired generations of later rulers to follow his example. Soon after his death in 324 BC, his successors used his legacy...

Stanisław Wyspiański: Shades of Melancholia

Monday, November 28, 2022

‘November is a difficult time for Poland’ Stanisław Wyspiański wrote in his play Noc listopadowa (November Night). Wyspiański, was a versatile and prolific artist – playwright, poet and theatre director – one of the generations of artists who grew up...

‘As if some long-since inhabited country had been fished up out of the bottom of the sea’: Travel Literature on Iceland

Friday, September 23, 2022

As the National and University Library of Iceland commemorate the 250th anniversary of Joseph Banks’s expedition to Iceland with an exhibition, we are publishing a series of blogs on all things Icelandic in the British Library collections. For those who...

Henry Trimmer – JMW Turner’s Lifelong Friend

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Henry Scott Trimmer was born in Old Brentford on 1 August 1778. His mother, Sarah (1741-1810), was a prominent educationalist, whose writing had a marked effect on the style and content of children’s literature of the time. It was in...

More blog posts

Library experts

Dr Malini Roy

Head of Visual Arts

Felicity Myrone

Lead Curator, Western Prints and Drawings

External links

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

The National Archives

Features a wide range of records relating to the East India Company

Shop

Points of View: Capturing the 19th Century in Photographs (paperback)

Points of View brings together, for the first time, a selection of images from the British Library's unique collections.

£15.95

Photographs and Words (hardback)

Michael Katakis’s photographs are now held in the British Library’s collections.

£25

The Book of the British Library

As well as holding some of the world's most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is the repository of the nation's collective memory.

£25