British Library service disruptions

Exterior of British Library in London
Exterior of British Library in London
We are aware that some students may be experiencing difficulties related to the ongoing service disruptions at the British Library, especially those affecting the access to materials in the special collections.

This update is intended to provide practical advice on how to handle the situation. 

Don’t Panic 

Struggling to access materials held in collections can be part of the academic research experience, and your own supervisors may have experienced this at least once in their careers. In the first instance, you should discuss your difficulties with them, and do this early, as it might be possible to:  
  • Adjust the focus of your research question to account for difficulties in accessing materials.  
  • Agree how to address lack of access to specific resources within your dissertation/research project.  

Remember, failure to get access to materials is not a failure to do good research. The important factor is how you adapt to the challenge you are presented. 

Make full use of UCL’s own libraries 

UCL has one of the most extensive library collections in the country, and through interlibrary loan agreements and other arrangements, we have access to a vast amount of material. Library Services has added a quick guide to the multiple routes available to you to access and request materials to support your research.

Stay Informed 

The British Library is frequently updating its service status as it continues to restore its access. You can stay up to date via.  

Postgraduate Researchers close to submission 

We know that several postgraduate research students will be in the process of writing up in preparation for imminent submission deadlines. In this instance, we anticipate that limited access to essential resources could have a material impact. The Doctoral School has added guidance to its for students in this position.
  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000