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).
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:
Out of copyright books, e.g. Ballad Romances
Playbills, e.g. A collection of playbills from the Olympic Theatre
Thousands of EU documents, e.g. Tools for an EU science diplomacy
- Six of our most treasured collection items, e.g. Caxton's Chaucer.
Hundreds of research datasets, e.g. Secure archive for environmental research data
US government documents, e.g. Arctic research of the United States
What you can see in the Library's Readings Rooms?
Reader Pass holders can, additionally, access content restricted by copyright or licence. This includes:
non-print legal deposit e-journal article/issues and e-books
Most titles can be accessed from any Reading Room computer but a small number can only be used on specific workstations.
Photo: The Kings Library inside the British Library