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

Christian Boltanski’s ‘Les Habitants de Malmö’ (1994)

Thursday, July 14, 2022

One of the most influential artists of the last century, Christian Boltanksi, died one year ago today. Although, he would have had you believe he actually died many times before: ‘When you are asked to make a retrospective, it basically...

Birds, Landscapes, and Letters: Elizabeth Gwillim and Mary Symonds in Madras

Thursday, June 16, 2022

In 1802, Mary Symonds wrote to her sister Hester James from Madras (now Chennai), 'I hope now we are settled that I shall be able to send something for the curious by every opportunity'. Mary Symonds, Coast Near Madras, The...

Satyajit Ray's visit to the India Office Library to conduct archival research for Shatranj ke Khilari or 'The Chess Players' in 1976

Monday, June 6, 2022

This guest blog post is by Sarbajit Mitra, a doctoral candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), who is working on his thesis: Cultures of Consumption: Popular Responses to Intoxicants in Colonial Bengal. The celebrated Indian filmmaker...

Hugh Danby – JMW Turner’s Phantom Son

Thursday, May 19, 2022

According to his first biographer, Walter Thornbury, Turner had four illegitimate children, at least one of whom was a boy. He provides no evidence for this, except for this piece of hearsay. “‘I once,’ says a friend, ‘heard Mr Crabb...

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