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

Two new fine editions of Georgia's national poet

Friday, November 26, 2021

Shota Rustaveli is the most admired poet in Georgia and an iconic figure in Georgian national literature. He is the author of the medieval epic poem Vepxistqaosani (The Knight in the Panther's Skin). The poem was composed during the reign...

Tove Jansson’s illustrations for Carroll and Tolkien

Monday, November 8, 2021

Naturally, we tend to focus on the Anglosphere legacies of English-language literary classics, but when it comes to fantasy fiction, like the works of Lewis Carroll and J. R. R. Tolkien, their international reception and illustrated editions are very much...

Unexpected items found cataloguing Hans Sloane’s natural history drawings

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

All manuscripts are unique and cataloguing them often leads to unexpected findings. The 73 albums of natural history drawings recently selected for cataloguing as part of a PhD placement project undertaken in the Modern Archives and Manuscripts Department at the...

Reunion of Krishna icons: A painting of the Festival of the Seven Svarups in the Johnson Album

Monday, November 1, 2021

This guest blog post is by Isabella Nardi (PhD, SOAS), an art historian specializing in Indian painting. In the group of paintings acquired and personally commissioned by Richard Johnson (1753–1807) which are now in the British Library there is an...

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