The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from many countries, in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play-scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings. The Library's collections include around 14 million books (second only to the United States' Library of Congress), along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC.
VIEWING GALLERY TOURS
Take a different look at the Library with a visit to the Viewing Gallery. The Gallery offers visitors a unique opportunity to see the Reading Rooms and how they are used. You will also see how books are ordered and delivered. Tours last around 45 minutes and are free.
CONSERVATION STUDIOS: BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR
See the work of conservation and gain an insight into the techniques used to care for our collections on a ‘behind the scenes' tour of the Conservation studios. See the work of conservation and gain an insight into the techniques used to care for our collections on a 'behind the scenes' tour.
At St Pancras (Euston Road, London NW1) there are 11 Reading Rooms, each specialising in a different subject area or type of material and with different opening hours. In the Reading Rooms you can:
Treasures of the British Library, Literary manuscripts and printed books. On display in this Gallery you will see Jane Austen, Third volume of her notebook Add. MS 65381(ff. 16v - 17), Lewis Carroll, Diary Add. MS 54343 (ff. 14v - 15), Wordsworth - Poem of Childhood (1842) Ashley 2265, Oscar Wilde - Ballad of Reading Gaol Add. MS 81634, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, 1847 Add. MS 43476 (ff. 258v - 259), irginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway Add. MS 51044 ff. 4v - 5 and many, many more...