Most of our items are held in store rather than on open access in our Reading Rooms. To view material in the St Pancras Reading Rooms you must order most items using Explore the British Library.
Some collection items have to be requested on manual tickets; these include some Maps, Patents and Official Publications and certain highly restricted and fragile items.
Some Western Manuscripts collection items, including most illuminated manuscripts, are not normally made available without a written letter of introduction or recommendation.
You can order items when you are in our Reading Rooms, or in advance of a visit either online or by contacting us. We recommend that you order in advance so you will be able to make best use of your time here.
You can track the status of your requests with My Reading Room Requests.