Information Services

British Library

There is no reciprocal access arrangement between Edinburgh University and the British Library. Notionally, everyone is welcome to register for a pass to the Reading Rooms there. However, access must be pre-arranged and is not always guaranteed.

Admission to the Reading Rooms of the British Library depends on the need to view specific material in their collections. It is worth reading the criteria the British Library lists on its website before applying for a Readers Pass - it may be that another academic or public library would be more appropriate for your research requirements.

University of Edinburgh staff and students may request certain material from the British Library catalogue through our Inter-Library Loans system. The items that can be requested are marked as DSC or Lending Collections.

How do I apply for a Readers Pass to the British Library?

You can apply in person at the Reader Registration office at the British Library's Main site in St Pancras, London, or by pre-registering:

Applying online prior to your visit means you can reserve items in the Reading Rooms to be available when you arrive.

What ID do I need?

Certain identification is required to apply for a Readers Pass to the British Library. This is the case whether you pre-register online or not. You need:

  • a state-issued photo ID, printed with your photo, name and address (driving licence or national ID card) or
  • two separate documents, one showing your name and one showing your home address.