Library Online

The British Library

Visiting the British Library

The British Library houses a collection of seven million publications which can be consulted in the Reading Room at the Document Supply Centre, Boston Spa, near Wetherby.

To visit the British Library take the 770 bus service operated by Harrogate and District buses. This link provides bus time information. Alternatively, if you want to drive there the British Library website provides maps and directions

You will need to sign in at the Reception when you arrive. You will be issued with a visitor's pass which you must wear. Please remember to hand this in when you leave.

The Reading Room is open to all visitors to the British Library at Boston Spa. You can visit the Reading Room to consult material but you cannot borrow from the Document Supply Centre. Reference books, bibliographies, and abstracting and indexing publications are available on open access.

You are not allowed to take bags, coats, mobiles, cameras or pens into the Reading Room. Study places are available in the Reading Room. Laptops are permitted at some desks. Take change for the photocopier and any pencils / paper you may require.

Requesting Items

  • Advance orders: You may order 16 items in advance on forms available from The Library Help and Information Point or via email: Please include your name, address and telephone number. Requests must be sent at least 5 working days before you plan to visit and must include British Library shelf marks, available from the British Library's Integrated Catalogue. Items held at Boston Spa are identified by a DSC shelfmark suffix. These items will then be available for you to consult in the Reading Room. Please contact the British Library (01937 546070) the day before your visit to check on the status of your order.
  • Orders on the day: You may be able to ask for up to 8 requests on the day as well as the 16 in advance. Each of the requests must be accompanied by a Reading Room sticker. You will not be able to request additional items if any of your requests fail.
  • Telephone orders: You can order 3 items by telephone giving 24 hours notice. These 3 items count towards your allowance of 8 requests per day.

Please note: items are not retrieved on demand but at specific times of the day (09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30 & 15:30).

If you are eligible for the University's Interlibrary Loan scheme, you may submit a request for items you viewed when you return to campus.

British Library Help And Contacts

The British Library Document Supply Centre,
Boston Spa,
West Yorkshire,
LS23 7BQ

Phone: 01937 546070
Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00 - 16:30

Disabled Access

The Reading Room is located on the ground floor and has wheelchair access. It has height adjustable tables and chairs, an ergonomic keyboard, text magnifying screen and facilities for the visually and hearing impaired.

Disabled parking is available near the Reading Room (ask at the gatehouse at the entrance and they will advise where to park). If you would like to clarify anything or have any specific needs please telephone the Reading Room on 01937 546070.