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 free Discovery and 1-2-1 Sessions 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

Raymond Roussel’s strange book

Friday, August 23, 2019

Where to start with the eccentric French poet Raymond Roussel? He was born into fabulous wealth, which he used to indulge his many idiosyncrasies. He threw lavish banquets just for himself. He more or less invented the modern electrified caravan,...

‘C’est un détournement’: Mezioud Ouldamer’s copy of Guy Debord and Asger Jorn’s Mémoires

Friday, August 16, 2019

In 1959 Guy Debord and the Danish artist Asger Jorn published Mémoires, ‘a work entirely composed of prefabricated elements’ with ‘supporting structures’ by Jorn. In the jargon of the Situationist International (SI), the avant-garde anti-authoritarian movement they helped form in...

Love, Art and Rejection: Mayakovsky’s Pro eto

Friday, July 19, 2019

Today marks the birthday of the Russian Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. To celebrate, we’ve dug into the history behind our edition of his poem Pro eto. Ei i mne (‘About This. To Her and to Me’). Completed in early 1923,...

Recording of the week: discovering Victorian coins in a Leeds butchers shop

Monday, July 8, 2019

This week's selection comes from Camille Johnston, Oral History Assistant Archivist. As a boy the artist Norman Ackroyd (born 1938) developed a fascination with Victorian coins such as the Godless florin and Bun Head penny. He helped out in his...

More blog posts

Library experts

Dr Malini Roy

Head of Visual Arts

Felicity Myrone

Lead Curator, Western Prints and Drawings

External links

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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