- What we collect
- Preserving our collections
- Building our collections
- Selected Library collections
- Collection statistics
- History of the collection
- Processing and describing our collections
The Main Reading Room on the Ground Floor is our largest reading room, and will most likely be your first stop.
Here you can get a Library card and access our general collection of published material.
In the Main Reading Room you can also:
- ask our friendly staff for advice on your research
- browse a selection of new books, journals and daily newspapers
- access free computers and internet
- settle into our comfortable study areas, complete with powerpoints and free wifi
- use our Optelec Clearview C enlarger to magnify images onto a computer screen
- print, scan and photocopy
- find a small selection of children's books for our youngest visitors.
Collection items are delivered to the Main Reading Room on weekdays, and generally take 45 minutes to arrive. Some material is held at our offsite storage facilities and will take longer to be delivered, so check our collection delivery times before you visit. Please note that delivery times vary between reading rooms.
You are welcome to bring handbags or small day bags (under 300mm square) and clear water bottles into the reading room. Food, large bags, coats, umbrellas and other large objects can be stored in our free self-service lockers on Lower Ground 1. Please do not leave personal possessions or bags unattended in the reading room. For the safety of our patrons unattended items may be inspected and removed by authorised officers of the Library.
For Main Reading Room opening hours see our opening hours page.