British Library - online collection

You can see books, manuscripts, maps, playbills, scores and much more. Researchers can use British Library’s collection of electronic resources and databases to find material relevant to their research.

About the collection

Items you can view online include, but are not limited to:  books, manuscripts, maps, scores, journals, research datasets, thesis and databases (indexing, abstracting and full text databases).

Records for all of this content can be found in one of the Library's main catalogues: Explore the British Library or Explore Archives and Manuscripts

British Library is regularly making more content freely available online, often in partnership with other organisations, but some content is restricted by copyright, or licence, to Reader Pass holders.

What can I see online?

Items freely available online include:

What you can see in the Library's Readings Rooms?

Reader Pass holders can, additionally, access content restricted by copyright or licence. This includes:

Most titles can be accessed from any Reading Room computer but a small number can only be used on specific workstations.

Readers can also use some subscribed electronic resources remotely.

Photo: The Kings Library inside the British Library

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