Graeco-Roman antiquity, through the middle regarding the 2nd millennium BC towards the end of this 6th century AD.

Medieval and early modern Britain

British historical and literary manuscripts, 600–1600

Modern British history

British history from 1600 to the current

Contemporary Britain

Collections reflecting contemporary British society and culture

Literature and drama

Collections associated with literature that is english British theatre

The British Library collection of maps, plans and views is among the largest in the global world, numbering some 4.5 million

The British Library has a world-famous number of music

Arts and humanities

Collections for the scholarly study of history, culture and society

Social sciences

Research resources on politics, economics, law, sociology along with other subjects.

Digital scholarship

Undertake innovative research with our digital collections and data

Law and studies that are legal

Historical and resources that are current the analysis of law, legislation and society

Family history

Primary sources and reference material for family history and genealogy research

Manuscripts Reading Room

The Manuscripts Reading Room is the point that is enquiry the Library’s western language manuscript collections (i.e. authored by hand, not printed). The collection includes literary, historical manuscripts and private papers.

  • Find information about the shelves about the Library’s collection that is british of manuscripts and those held elsewhere
  • Access online databases and journals that are electronic books associated with archives and manuscripts
  • Order collection items towards the Reading Room via our Explore Archives & Manuscripts Catalogue

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