The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries, situated between Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations, and close to a number of universities located in central London.
The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.
Students are welcome to register as Readers of the British Library, giving them access to eleven Reading Rooms at our St Pancras site and a Reading Room at our site in Boston Spa in Yorkshire. Further information can be found here.
The British Library Reading Rooms are free to access and you can have up to ten items at a time within the room. However, you must note that the British Library is different to your university – it does not hold multiple copies of standard texts and you cannot borrow books to take with you. Over 16,000 people use our Library online and onsite every day, so we recommend you get here early in the morning to secure a desk in a Reading Room.
The Library’s research opportunities cover every curriculum, from our cultural collections including 3,000 year old oracle bones to the latest scientific literature. If you are a PhD Student, we run regular Doctoral open days to help optimise your use of the Library’s resources. For more info on these days and all of our events click here.
When you’re done studying you can enjoy one of our temporary or permanent exhibitions. From Harry Potter to Sound archives, we have a programme of changing exhibitions throughout the year. In addition, our Treasures Gallery has a free permanent display ranging from the Magna Carta to a Leonardo Da Vinci notebook.