Desks in a British Library reading room.

A guide to how to obtain a British Library Reader Pass to use our reading rooms

Published date:
1 April 2014

Register for a Reader Pass

We issue a free Reader Pass to anyone who has a need to see specific items in our collections. We do not usually issue a pass to anyone under the age of 18 but in some cases exceptions are made.

Before you register with the British Library, you should search our Catalogues to confirm we have the material you require. Please bring these details with you when you register. Our staff will have an introductory discussion with you about your need to use our collections. They may suggest more appropriate libraries or sources for your research.

You can pre-register online or register in person. To register in person and complete your online registration visit, either:

  • Reader Registration on the Upper Ground Floor at St Pancras, London (open Monday to Saturday, except for seasonal closures); or,
  • Reception, the Thorp Arch Retail Park, Boston Spa, Yorkshire (open Monday to Friday, except for seasonal closures). We strongly recommend that readers intending to use the Boston Spa Reading Room pre-register online.

We will need to see proof of your identity and address. You cannot request books prior to your first visit, unless you have used online pre-registration. Pre-registration is only eligible for first time Reader Pass applicants.

Once registered, you will be given a Reader Pass. Passes are valid for a period of between one month and three years and are issued subject to the Library’s Conditions of Use.

If you already have a Reader Pass you may need to extend or renew it or obtain a temporary pass.

– See more at: http://www.bl.uk/help/how-to-get-a-reader-pass#sthash.WMrBw1Tv.dpuf


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