We offer a range of memberships and payment methods. Applicants are asked to name an independent referee who could confirm your name and address if requested.

You can join online or simply download an application form.



Membership offers access to an extensive collection of more than one million volumes, subscriptions to 750 current journals and periodicals, with backruns of 2,500 titles, augmented by access to a wide range of electronic resources. The collection covers more than 2,000 subjects in 50 languages, with 8,000 new books added annually.


  • More than one million books to browse, borrow and enjoy at leisure
  • Books from the 16th century to the present day
  • Rapid response to requests for materials
  • Extensive journal and periodical subscriptions from Modern Language Review to The New Yorker
  • A wealth of online resources from academic journals (including access to JSTOR) to Who’s Who online


  • Extremely generous loan periods
  • No fines
  • Ability to increase book allowances
  • Postal loans service anywhere within the UK and Europe
  • Advance ordering of books for collection or posting online or by phone, fax or email


  • Late opening until 8pm three evenings a week
  • Four attractive reading rooms or a choice of individual study spaces
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Access to electronic publications and internet
  • Reference enquiries and research assistance
  • A congenial place to work, relax or study
  • Quarterly members' magazine
  • Member events, offers and discounts at a range of organisations
  • Open on Saturdays


Tom Holland


Gift membership makes
an original gift for
anyone who loves books.

Find out more