Introduction to the British Library

The British Library is the national library of the UK, and one of the greatest research libraries in the world. Through legal deposit, it receives a copy of every item published in the UK and Ireland by law; around three million new items every year.

The Library´s collection covers all known subject areas, languages and formats, including books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, patents, databases, maps, stamps and much more.

You can access the Library´s collections through Reading Rooms at St Pancras, London, and Boston Spa in Yorkshire.

Who can use the British Library?

The Library welcomes researchers from all backgrounds to use the library for academic, commercial or personal research. However it is particularly suited to providing support for research postgraduates and academics.

Find out how to gain a British Library Reader Pass at

Find out more about the Library at