Entrance hall, British Library

The British Library

The British Library is the national library of the UK and one of the world’s greatest libraries. The collections include more than 150 million items, in over 400 languages, to which three million new items are added every year. They comprise books, magazines, manuscripts, maps, music scores, newspapers, patents, databases, philatelic items, prints and drawings and sound recordings.

You can browse the Library’s catalogues, and apply to become a Reader online or in-person.

Permanent exhibition Treasures of the British Library is free to visit, and temporary displays and exhibitions are installed throughout the year, some of which have free-entry, and some are ticketed.

Exhibition and gallery opening times

Monday: 9.30 – 18.00

Tuesday: 9.30 – 20.00

Wednesday – Friday: 9.30 – 18.00

Saturday: 9.30 – 17.00

Sunday 11.00 – 17.00

The Treasures Gallery closes at 20.00 Tuesday – Thursday


All floors are accessible by lift, and there are accessible toilets on each floor.

Large print guides and magnifying glasses are available at the Information Desk.

Concessions are available for disabled visitors for ticketed events and exhibitions, with free companion tickets.

Guide and assistance dogs are welcome.

For full access details, visit the British Library website.