The Library does not grant automatic admission to the Petherick Reading Room to doctoral candidates. However, students are welcome to use the facilities and the collections accessible through the co-located Special Collections Reading Room as well as the Main and other Reading Rooms.

If you have an extended need to use the Petherick Reading Room - for example, if you are writing a book or doing other long-term research using special collections - excluding Asian, newspapers and microforms - you may apply for a Reader's Card.

You will need to complete an application form outlining your research program and how you intend to use our collections. One of our librarians may also be asked to advise on the resources of the Library relevant to your research program. Petherick Reader's Cards are valid for up to two years depending on the nature and duration of your research with possibility for renewal. We will require you to present some form of identification, such as a driver's licence, before a Petherick Reader's Card can be issued.

We recommend that you search the catalogue to check that the Library holds resources relevant to your research before applying for a card.

Holders of Petherick Reader's Cards may be invited to give an informal seminar to interested Library staff or to the Friends of the National Library on the subject of their research, either at its conclusion or at an appropriate point in its development.