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British Library


96 Euston Road


020 7412 7000




The British Library holds a collection of family history related material including pedigrees, title deeds, electoral registers, maps, gazetteers, directories and correspondence as well as the India Office Records.

The British Library Newsroom (formerly the British Library Newspaper Reading Room at Colindale) is a division of the British Library based at St Pancras, London. The reading rooms at St Pancras and the National Newspaper Building at Boston Spa house the British Library Newspaper Collections. In these reading room it will be possible to access microfilm and digital collections with print newspapers becoming fully available by November 2014. Periodicals will be available to access from all reading rooms. Reference sources and expert help are always available in the reading rooms.

The archive collection consists of British and overseas newspapers, magazines, trade papers and periodicals. Practical details of using the British Library Newsroom can be found here and other essential information and guides about the newspaper library can be found here, including information about the online databases and digitisation projects, the collections and a history of the library and collections. For a comprehensive guide to researching newspapers in the UK and abroad see the newspapers and comics section under help for researchers. Many titles have been digitised and are available online at the British Newspaper Archive. Another collection of digitised newspapers and journals called British Newspapers 1800-1900 contains 70 UK and Irish national and local titles and is available in the British Library Reading Room and at participating institutions. The newspaper catalogue contains details of all newspapers and periodicals held at British Library Newspapers and can be searched from the main catalogue page by using the dropdown filter. The Newsplan catalogue contains the whereabouts of local newspapers covering English and Welsh regions. The News Media web page provides direct access to the newspaper catalogue as well as the main library catalogue together with guides covering the newspapers collections with separate sections on the Thomason Tracts and Burney Collection as well as guides to the British Newspaper Archive and television and radio news programmes. Links to all the Digitisation Projects can be found here.

The Main catalogue known as ‘Explore the British Library’ allows users to search, view and order items from the main catalogue or search the contents of the Library's website. The Archives and manuscript collections catalogue contains the British Library's collection of Western manuscripts. Some 30,000 items from the collections are available at the British Library Online Gallery or at the Sound Archive Catalogue with images available at Images Online. The updated British Museum Collection Online database is an inventory of the Museum’s collection and aims to record what is known about it. There are currently 2,162,005 records available, which represent more than 3,500,000 objects. 867,440 records have one or more images. The British Library Document Supply Service allows users to search across 20,000 of the most popular journals in the Library's collection. The Library has a section where researches can find out about the collections and services as well as a number of blogs written by their curators and other staff.

The British Library's Flickr Photostream has highlights from more than one million public domain images from the digitised collection of over 65,000 books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries developed in partnership with Microsoft. The images themselves cover a mix of subjects including maps, geological diagrams, illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes and wall-paintings. Images to Flickr Commons are for anyone to use, remix and repurpose.

The library offers information specialists in every Reading Room who can help you with whatever the subject of your research.

Also see
Newspapers, magazines & journals