Our collections are a rich resource for understanding British life from the post-War period to the present day. They span the range of published formats, as well as manuscripts, archives and sound recordings.

Collection guides

  • Clive Myrie presenting BBC News

    Television and radio news

    The Broadcast News service provides onsite access to recent news programmes
  • Stanley Ellis (SED fieldworker) and Tom Maddison  c.1967

    English accents and dialects

    We have an extensive collection of spoken voice recordings
  • Screenshot of OS Viewer

    Digital mapping

    Geospatial data, cartographic applications, digital aerial photography and scanned-in historic map materials
  • Kiev political debate

    Oral history

    One of the largest collections of oral history and life story interviews in the world
  • Nathan King

    Pop music recordings

    We hold one of the most wide-ranging collections of popular music in the world
  • UK Web Archive

    UK Web Archive

    Preserved web resources of scholarly and cultural importance from the UK domain
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
  • Ask for help from information specialists at the Reference Enquiry desks
  • Consult subject guides, bibliographies and other research aids

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

For enquiries, please contact the Reference Service

Library experts

Dr Phil Hatfield

Lead Curator Digital Map Collections

Jeremy Jenkins

Curator, Emerging Media, Contemporary British Publications

Jonnie Robinson

Lead Curator, Spoken English

Mary Stewart

Curator, Oral History, and Deputy Director of National Life Stories

More staff members

Blog posts

‘Post-it’ notes in the Will Self archive

Friday, March 24, 2017

Chris Beckett writes: ‘My books begin life in notebooks, then they move on to Post-it notes, the Post-its go up on the walls of the room […] short story ideas, tropes, metaphors, gags, characters, etc. When I'm working on a...

Poetic Places and World Poetry Day 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This post is by Digital Curator Stella Wisdom, on twitter as @miss_wisdom. Happy World Poetry Day! The Digital Scholarship team are marking the day with an event exploring how poetry, history and literature can be discovered and experienced via digital...

Recording of the week: can you guess what it is yet?

Monday, March 20, 2017

This week's selection comes from Jonnie Robinson, Lead Curator of Spoken English. Capturing authentic dialect and slang presents a considerable challenge, but documenting nonce-words is almost impossible. We have all probably coined a nonce-word on the spur of the moment...

Speaking of the Kasmin Gallery: how to buy a Hockney for £40

Friday, March 10, 2017

British Library Oral History extracts on display in BP Spotlight exhibition Speaking of the Kasmin Gallery at Tate Britain

More blog posts


Save our Sounds

Save our Sounds is our programme to preserve the nation’s sound heritage

All projects

Case studies

…The UK Web Archive is a fantastic resource for researchers…

Neema used the UK Web Archive to explore how ethnic minorities voted in the EU Referendum.