Online periodicals and databases

As well as print copies, the Library subscribes to over 300 online versions of its journals, augmented with access to thousands more through online periodicals archive services such as JSTOR. For further details of the extensive range of periodicals and databases that can be accessed on-line see our eJournals pages. Much of the content of our eJournals is directly searchable through the Library’s online catalogue service CATALYST.

The majority of the Library’s electronic resources are provided through annual subscription rather than purchase and the continuation of each subscription depends on the volume of use and available funding. Wherever possible, licences are secured which permit use by members remotely (via the Library’s website) in addition to use on the Library’s premises. While some licences permit unlimited use, others are restricted to one or more simultaneous users; the use patterns of restricted licences are regularly reviewed and simultaneous use allowances expanded where demand requires and resources permit.

Academic resources

Through JSTOR you can access a huge digital library of academic journals, books, primary sources and periodicals. London Library membership provides free access to most of JSTOR's content, which subscribed to separately normally costs around £200 per annum.

Members also have access to a vast collection of historic research material through hundreds of publications including The Bibliography of British and Irish History, British History Online, the Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913, the Survey of London and The British Newspaper Archive, plus much more.

Newspaper archives and historic publications

As a London Library member you’ll be able to use the full digital archives of The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Observer, plus the extensive British Newspaper Archive,  the 17th-18th Century Burney Newspapers Collection and more!

This enormous range of archival material is perfect for researching from home - whether you’re working on an academic research project, writing a novel or working on your family history.

Our subscriptions to historic publications - such as the Illustrated London News and the Country Life archive - provide a wealth of information, much of it beautifully illustrated, that is ideal for both work and pleasure.

Literary resources

An extensive collection of literary journals and collections is available if you’re looking to stay in touch with the literary world. London Library membership gives access to titles such as the complete archive of The London Review of Books, New York Review of Books, English Poetry, The Complete Prose of T S Eliot archive, Early English Books Online and many more.


Our online art resources offer a wealth of material for art researchers and art historians. As well as access to all of the art journals available  through JSTOR we also provide use of the International Bibliography of Art, Oxford Art Online and more.


The London Library’s language collection is extensive. Membership gives access to European language newspapers and publications such as Die Zeit/Literatur book reviews and Gallica: The digital library of the national library of France. We also offer Russian literature, language, history and art publications. 

Oxford English Dictionary

For access to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) eResources, please first sign in to Catalyst via The London Library website and scroll down to the OED link. Please contact the Library team should you need help.



We have now made our first foray into the expanding world of eBooks through OverDrive who offer a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction eBooks, and a range of audiobooks.

Browse The London Library on Overdrive 

Read Overdrive guidance

eBooks play an important role in the publishing world and a huge range of titles are available, whether as downloads onto existing computers/tablets or onto dedicated platforms such as Kindles. The Coronavirus lockdown restrictions have really reinforced their importance as an easy way of accessing content remotely.

We have identified a number of titles that are in high demand in the Library and have purchased additional copies as eBooks. We have also purchased some fiction that we see circulating quite highly in the Library, such as books which have won awards of various kinds. Additionally, we have included a set of classics that are being made freely available by Duke Classics during the pandemic.
Members can access our eBook selection either through the OverDrive website, or through an app called Libby. Members are welcome to make recommendations regarding new e-books for the Library to acquire from the entire OverDrive catalogue, similar to our book suggestions scheme. This can only be done via the OverDrive website, and not in the Libby app. Add the green text in both places.

Online Catalogue

Not all of the Library’s collections are included in our online catalogue but we have added all acquisitions since 1950 and a substantial and growing number of titles from our earlier catalogues as part of our Retrospective Cataloguing Project

Digital Materials

As the range of humanities information sources available in digital format has expanded, the Library’s collecting remit has also expanded to encompass digital materials where these are relevant to the subjects covered by the printed collections. 

In developing our electronic resources, we give priority to acquisition areas where digital format:

  • adds value to content by improving information retrieval, eg through full-text indexing (eJournals, newspapers) or by providing the capacity to search across a range of materials (subject bibliographies, periodical and newspaper compilations, compilations of reference works and/or texts with unified search engines)
  • offers longer-term possibilities for space saving (eJournals, bibliographies, reference works
  • has a reliable preservation and support infrastructure
  • provides access to materials not generally available or affordable to individual subscribers

It is our policy to defer exposure to digital (and other non-book) formats where:

  • content is merely reproduced in another medium (eBooks, audio)
  • access requires a particular brand of reading device (Kindle, iPad)
  • the purchase or subscription model is unfavourable in comparison with printed books