You do not need a general admission timed entry ticket to book a research visit.
Three research spaces are available each morning and afternoon from Wednesday through to Saturday.
You can book both a morning and afternoon session if necessary.
You must book at least three days in advance of your planned visit.
To book your place, email us or telephone 020 7395 9257.
Bookings are on a first come, first served basis.
Registering as a reader
In order to use the library, you need to register as a reader. Download, complete and email the form at the bottom of this page. Then bring photo identification and proof of address when you first visit. We’ll give you a library card to use from then on. Make sure to let us know if you change your details in the future so we can update our records.
Books and documents
To make sure things don’t get lost or damaged, our collections are reference only. That means you can’t borrow any of the books or documents and we don’t have open shelves.
We’re here to help you find whatever you need. To make sure your visit goes smoothly, please have a look at the Library’s online catalogue then email your requests before you come. If you turn up with a request, we’ll do our best to help swiftly but there may be a delay while we find the item.
If you want to see anything from the archives, please email us in advance and let us know what you need. Some items are kept offsite so we need time (up to 3 days) to get them before you come.
Each time you visit, please:
- Make sure you have your library card and sign the readers’ book at the Information Desk.
- Leave your bag in the cloakroom and use the clear plastic bags provided for any material you want to bring into the library. You need a £1 coin (refundable) for the lockers in the cloakroom.
- Don’t write on any library materials.
- Don't bring drinks or food into the library.
- Switch mobile phones to silent mode. Please leave the research area to receive or make calls.
Computers and internet access
You're welcome to bring your laptop. Each reading area has its own power sockets and there is free WiFi.
Photocopying and photographing materials
Our staff can make photocopies, scans and take photographs of materials for you to take away. If you want to take your own pictures, you can buy a photography licence from the Information Desk. The licence costs £10 per day. Find out more about photocopying, image use and costs.
We are here to help with your research
If you need advice, the Librarian and Archivist are available to help you with your research and answer questions about our collections. You can email us if you have any questions before your visit.
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