British Library

We’re the UK’s national library, working to restore our services following a cyber-attack. Need help? Contact [email protected]

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest libraries. We hold over 13 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 57 million patents and 3 million sound recordings. Open to everyone, the Library offers events, temporary exhibitions and a Treasures Gallery that displays over 200 items, including Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible and lyrics by The Beatles.

Operating as usual

21/02/2024

In the world of fantasy, knowledge of a name often grants power over the thing itself. Learning Rumpelstiltskin’s name saves a queen from losing her first-born in the Brothers Grimm’s Children's and Household Tales (1812). Ged’s naming of the Dragon of Pendor saves the people of the Archipelago from the threat of dragons in Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea (1968). Rediscovering her own name allowed Chihiro to remember who she was before she became stuck in a world of spirits in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001). By stealing the second kanji of Chihiro’s name (‘a thousand questions’), Yubaba altered Chihiro’s name to become Sen, meaning ‘thousand’, causing the 10-year-old girl to lose her curiosity.

What’s your favourite use of a ‘true name’?

📗The Fairy Book by Dinah Maria Craik. 12410.s.5. Illustrated by Warwick Goble

Photos from British Library's post 20/02/2024

Whether on stage or screen, costume has always been key in transporting us to fantastical worlds, introducing audiences to other-worldly characters.

These wonders from Royal Opera House transformed Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev into Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund in The Royal Ballet’s 1968 production of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, and are on display in our Fantasy: Realms of Imagination exhibition.

Photography credit: Leslie E. Spatt / ArenaPAL.

19/02/2024

Don’t miss your chance to explore how a library-loving girl grew into one of the UK’s most popular authors and how her enthralling books shine a light on different ways of seeing the world.

Our free exhibition Malorie Blackman: The Power of Stories is open until 25 February: https://bit.ly/BLMalorieTickets

Photos from British Library's post 15/02/2024

What’s your favourite romantic line from literature? 🥰

14/02/2024

Young hearts, run free… 💘

Happy Valentine’s Day!

📜 Stowe 955, f.13

09/02/2024

You can read our latest update about our ongoing recovery from last year’s cyber-attack in a new blog from our CEO, Sir Roly Keating.

We’re going to be restoring as many services as we can within the coming months, in particular improving access to collection items held in Boston Spa and to our digital collection.

We’ll release an indicative timeline later this month for when some key services will be restored: https://bit.ly/BLServicesBlogFeb

07/02/2024

You’ll know this creature, but you might not recognise him here.

Gollum wasn’t always the ‘small slimy creature’ we know now – in 1962, Tove Jansson illustrated him as a much bigger (still slimy!) creature, which apparently caused Tolkien to add the word ‘small’ to later editions.

Discover more fantastical creatures in Fantasy: Realms of Imagination. Open until 25 February: https://bit.ly/BLFantasyTickets

Image from Bilbo: En Hobbit's Aventyr. ©️ Tove Jansson Estate (1962)

05/02/2024

There’s still time to step through the Library gates into fantastical worlds in our ★★★★★ (The Telegraph) exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination.

Gather your fellow adventurers and explore the lands, languages and creatures of some of the finest fantasy creators before 25 February: bit.ly/BLFantasyTickets

Fantasy: Realms of Imagination is supported by Wayland Games Limited and Unwin Charitable Trust.

https://bit.ly/FBWayland
https://bit.ly/FBUnwin

25/01/2024

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o' the Puddin-race!

Wishing you a happy !

23/01/2024

Using our online catalogue is a bit different at the moment.

Watch this short guide to learn how to search for an item, and place an order in our Reading Rooms.

If you need any help, just let us know.

15/01/2024

Today we’ve released a searchable online version of our main catalogue, which contains records of the majority of our printed collections as well as some freely available online resources. We have also expanded the range of items that can be accessed in our Reading Rooms at St Pancras, including the majority of our special collections.

Advance online ordering is not currently available so you will need to come onsite to order the items you need via a manual process in the Reading Rooms. If you need to confirm the availability of a particular item in advance of your visit you can email our Reference Services team.

To find out more about searching for and ordering collection items at the moment, please visit our website: bl.uk/research

10/01/2024

On Monday, we will take a major first step in the restoration of our services for Readers and researchers. Our Chief Executive, Sir Roly Keating, shares more details in a new blog: https://bit.ly/BLRolyStatementJan

02/01/2024

Wishing you all a happy and hopeful 2024, from everyone at the British Library ✨

22/12/2023

We’re taking a break from social media for the festive period, which means our channels won't be actively monitored until 28 December – see you after a mince pie (or two!) 🎅🎄

If you need to contact us, please email [email protected] and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

21/12/2023

Season’s greetings from us all at the British Library ❄️

Thank you for all your support and helping us celebrate our 50th birthday this year.

20/12/2023

We’ve expanded our temporary website, where you’ll now be able to find more information about our available services, how to visit us over the next few weeks, and our seasonal opening hours, at http://bl.uk

15/12/2023

“The people responsible for this cyber-attack stand against everything that libraries represent: openness, empowerment, and access to knowledge.”
— Sir Roly Keating

Our CEO Sir Roly Keating shares more information on the recent cyber-attack and its impact, and sets out our plans for restoring further services in the new year: https://bit.ly/BLRolyStatement

08/12/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage following a cyber-attack, affecting our website, online systems and services, and some onsite services including our Reading Rooms.

Last week the attackers released some of our data onto the dark web, including some personal user information. We've contacted our users to alert them to this incident and to offer advice from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on how to protect themselves, including updating their passwords on other systems: http://bit.ly/BLNCSC

Analysing the data is likely to take several months. Should we find specific information has been compromised we will alert the people affected as soon as we can. We are continuing to collaborate with the Metropolitan Police and professional cyber security advisors and are receiving additional support from the NCSC.

We’re really sorry for the ongoing disruption to our systems and services and we’ll provide further updates when we can.

Our sites in London and Yorkshire are open as normal, and details of our services, exhibitions and events can be found on our temporary webpage: http://bl.uk as well as resources on our blog: http://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateDec

01/12/2023

We’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging period, following the major technology outage caused by a cyber-attack – it is much appreciated.

We’re working as quickly as possible to safely restore our services, both onsite and online. Our buildings remain fully open, with tickets available for our exhibitions Fantasy: Realms of Imagination and Malorie Blackman: The Power of Stories. Wi-Fi is available at both sites, and we can take card payments onsite at St Pancras. We’re actively updating our blog with alternative research resources as they become available: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateDec

We’re continuing to work closely with cybersecurity specialists to examine the extent of the cyber-attack and will provide regular updates. The NCSC offers valuable advice on maintaining online security: https://bit.ly/BLNCSC

Thank you for your ongoing support. We’ll share further updates as soon as we can.

27/11/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage as a result of a cyber-attack. This is affecting our website, online systems and services, as well as some onsite services. Our sites are still open and you can find details of the services available, plus other useful information on our blog: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateNov

Following last week’s confirmation that this was a ransomware attack, we now have evidence that indicates the attackers might have copied some user data, and additional data appears to have been published on the dark web.

We will continue to work with cybersecurity specialists to examine what this material is and we will be contacting our users to advise them of the practical steps they may need to take.

If you have a password for British Library services that you use on other websites, we recommend you change it elsewhere as a precaution. NCSC provides guidance on staying secure online, including how to create a strong password: https://bit.ly/BLNCSC. You can also find specific guidance for individuals who may have been impacted by a data breach: https://bit.ly/BLNCSCData

We’ll continue to share updates as and when we can. Thank you for your understanding.

24/11/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage as a result of a cyber-attack. This is affecting our website, online systems and services, as well as some onsite services.

Our St Pancras and Boston Spa sites are open, and you can find details of the services available, plus what’s on and other useful information and resources here: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateNov

Wi-Fi is available again in most public areas, and we can also take card payments onsite at St Pancras. We anticipate restoring more services in the next few weeks, but disruption to certain services is now expected to persist for several months.

Having confirmed that this was a ransomware attack, we’re aware that some data has been leaked. As a precaution, we recommend that if you have a password for British Library services that you use for other websites or services, that you change it on those accounts. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre offer excellent advice on staying secure online, including how to create a strong password: https://bit.ly/BLNCSC

We’re continuing to investigate the attack with the support of NCSC, the Metropolitan Police and cybersecurity specialists, and targeted protective measures have already been put in place to ensure the integrity of our systems. We’ll keep updating our social channels and blog as we have more information to share. Thank you for your understanding.

22/11/2023

While some of our services are still affected by the major technology outage, following a cyber-attack, we have now restored public Wi-Fi in our buildings. This service extends to the majority of our public spaces including the Reading Rooms, as well as our study desks and galleries at St Pancras. You won’t require a login.

Our sites continue to be open as normal. See what’s available onsite and online via our blog, which we’re regularly updating: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateNov

20/11/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage as a result of a cyber-attack, affecting our website, online systems and services, and some onsite services too. We anticipate restoring many services in the next few weeks, but some disruption may persist for longer.

Following confirmation last week that this was a ransomware attack, we’re aware that some data has been leaked. This appears to be from our internal HR files.

We have no evidence that data of our users has been compromised. However, if you have a British Library login and your password is used elsewhere, we recommend changing it as a precautionary measure. The National Cyber Security Centre provides guidance on staying secure online, including how to create a strong password: https://bit.ly/BLNCSC

In the meantime, we’ve taken targeted protective measures to ensure the integrity of our systems, and we’re continuing to investigate the attack with the support of NCSC, the Metropolitan Police and cybersecurity specialists. Thank you for bearing with us during this investigation. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

Our sites are open as normal. Details of what’s available can be found on our blog: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateNov

17/11/2023

While our website is unavailable following a major technology outage caused by a cyber-attack, we’re keeping our blog up to date with what’s on at the Library: https://bit.ly/BLEventsUpdate

We’ve just uploaded more events up until 14 December, including our current season of Fantasy events which you can now book online via See Tickets.

You can continue to find information about what else is available onsite and online here: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateNov

14/11/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage as a result of a cyber-attack, affecting our website, online systems and services, and some onsite services too. We anticipate restoring many services in the next few weeks, but some disruption may persist.

We have now confirmed that this was a ransomware attack, by a group known for such criminal activity. As mentioned in previous updates, we’ve taken targeted protective measures to ensure the integrity of our systems, and we’re undertaking a forensic investigation with the support of NCSC, the Metropolitan Police and cybersecurity specialists.

Our buildings are open and events and exhibitions are going ahead. While our website and some services are offline, we’re regularly updating our blog with information on what’s still available: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdateNov

Thank you for your ongoing patience while we continue to investigate this incident. We’re really grateful for your understanding.

12/11/2023

'In Flanders fields the poppies grow...'

We will open at 11.02 today following the national two-minute silence to mark Remembrance Sunday, 12 November.

📝 In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

11/11/2023

We will be observing the national two-minute silence for Armistice Day at 11.00 today, Saturday 11 November.

📝 In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

10/11/2023

While our website is unavailable, following the major technology outage caused by a cyber-attack, we’re continuing to update our blog with the latest information on what’s available onsite and online, including further research resources: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdate10Nov

Our buildings are still open as usual and our events and exhibitions are running as planned. We can now also take bookings online for our exhibition, Fantasy: Realms of Imagination, via See Tickets: https://bit.ly/BLFantasyTickets

We expect to restore many services soon but some disruption is likely to continue for several weeks. Thank you for bearing with us.

08/11/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage, as a result of what has now been identified as a cyber-attack. The outage is still affecting our website, online systems and services, as well as some onsite services including Wi-Fi. We expect to restore many of our services soon, although some disruption is likely to continue for several weeks.

We’ve taken targeted protective measures in response to the attack to ensure the integrity of our systems. We’re also undertaking a forensic investigation with the support of NCSC and cyber security specialists.

We know many of you have questions but, as this investigation is ongoing, we’re unable to provide any more information at this time and we’ll update when we can. Thanks for your continued understanding.

Our sites are open as normal. We’ve updated our blog with the latest information on what’s available onsite and online: https://bit.ly/BLCyberUpdate

06/11/2023

We’re continuing to experience a major technology outage as a result of a cyber incident.

While our website and online services are unavailable, we’ve published a blog with other resources and websites that you may find useful, as well as the latest on what’s currently available at the Library: http://bit.ly/BLServiceUpdate

We’ll update this page as regularly as we can with more information. Thanks again for bearing with us while we investigate this incident.

03/11/2023

Thanks to everyone for your understanding following the ongoing disruption this week. This has been caused by a cyber incident, which resulted in a major technology outage.

While this is continuing to affect our website, online systems and services, and some onsite services including Wi-Fi, our buildings remain fully open.

The following are available onsite:

· Reading Rooms (for personal study)
· any collection items ordered to consult on or before 28 October in the Reading Rooms (please note the date change)
· very limited, manual collection item ordering in London via our printed catalogues, for items stored in St Pancras only
· Reader Registration – however, we’re currently only able to issue temporary passes. The levels of access these provide may differ depending on whether you are a lapsed or new Reader.

You can still use any booked tickets to Fantasy: Realms of Imagination and buy tickets for the exhibition onsite (but we can only accept cash). All public events are going ahead too.

Please bear with us while we’re investigating the incident with NCSC and other specialists. We’ll update on the situation as soon as we can. In the meantime, we’re really grateful for all your messages of support. Thank you.

02/11/2023

All our upcoming public events are going ahead as planned. If you would like to purchase tickets for this weekend’s events, online booking is now available for:

• Black to the Future presents Genre Marauders (in person): bit.ly/BLGenreMarauders

• Black to the Future presents Genre Marauders (online): bit.ly/BLGenreMaraudersOnline

• Late at the Library, Drexciyan Realms (in person): bit.ly/BLDrexciyanRealms

• Festival of the Accused (in person/online): bit.ly/BLFestivaloftheAccused

Tickets for future events will be available again soon – thank you for bearing with us and we'll update as soon as we can.

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Videos (show all)

Accessing our collection | British Library
Season's Greetings 2023 | British Library
Fantasy: Realms of Imagination | British Library
Creating a fantasy universe | Fantasy: Realms of Imagination | British Library
Ada Lovelace's letters to Charles Babbage | British Library
Autumn equinox | British Library
Help us save the stories that shaped history | Conservation appeal | British Library
Bernardine Evaristo on storytelling
Animals: Art, Science & Sound exhibition | British Library
Caring for embroidered books | In the Conservation Studio | British Library
Preparing da Vinci's Manuscript | In the Conservation Studio | British Library
Bringing books back to life | In the Conservation Studio | British Library

Location

Address


96 Euston Road
London
NW12

Opening Hours

Monday 9:30am - 6pm
Tuesday 9:30am - 6pm
Wednesday 9:30am - 7:30pm
Thursday 9:30am - 7:30pm
Friday 9:30am - 6pm
Saturday 9:30am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm
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