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How to order items in advance

You can request items in advance of a visit to:

  • Register for a Reader Pass
  • Renew an expired Reader Pass.

Items can be requested online or you can email your requirements to us.

Note that you do not need to request items in advance. You can simply turn up and register on your first visit (this normally takes about 10-15 minutes), or renew your expired pass, and order from  the Reading Rooms immediately afterwards. Some items, however, are not stored at St Pancras and can take up to two days to arrive. Requesting items in advance of your visit can be helpful if you have limited time at the Library.

How to request items in advance online

You can request items in advance if you have either:

In addition, you will also need to have upgraded your Reader Number to a British Library Online Account

Online help and 'how to videos' are available.

Email your requirements

If you are unable, or do not wish, to pre-register online, please email us the following information:

  • A brief description of your research and what it is for (e.g. academic, work-related or personal interest)
  • Full details of the specific items you require (including shelfmarks from our Catalogues.) NB: A provisional Reader number will be allocated only if you need to see specific items
  • Your full name (Family name and First names)
  • Date of birth (dd/mm/yy)
  • Date of visit

If you do not have access to email please write to us. Include your full postal address in addition to the information above.

Confirmation of your Reader Number and information on how to request material will be sent to you.

NB: Applications sent less than 10 days in advance may not be processed in time.

Further information

Reader Registration
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7676
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7794

E-mail: Reader-Registration@bl.uk