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Using the British Library

The British Library is one of the UK’s Legal deposit libraries. This means that the British Library automatically receives a copy of every book (which includes pamphlets, magazines and newspapers).  Being a student in London means you can easily visit the British Library and have access to their 56 million items, all of which can be searched on the catalogue.

Becoming a member

To be able to access the reading rooms at the British Library you need to be a member. To become a member you have to be at least a first year undergraduate student and need  access to something that they hold. You can pre-register online, and then just take in your documentation to fully register and gain your reader pass. You will need proof of identity and address, full details of the items you need to consult and your student card (this must be a valid Goldsmiths card not just your NUS card.)

The Reading Rooms

There are 11 reading rooms in total.  Some items can only be read in certain reading rooms and you will be told this when you order the item, but the majority can be read in whichever reading room suits you. No items can be taken out of the reading rooms, they have to be collected and returned to the issue desks in each room.

All the rooms at the British Library have very strict rules. The main ones to remember are that no coats, bags, pens, food, or drink can be taken into the reading rooms, and absolutely no mobile phones! Do not let all the rules put you off, they are there to make sure everyone can study there without disruption.

If you do not want to visit the British Library, we can get inter-library loans of many of the books or copies of articles that are held there.

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