THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Living Knowledge blog

20 October 2015

Millions more legal deposit items now available at Boston Spa

In a recent Living Knowledge blog we outlined the wealth of research materials available to Readers in Yorkshire via our Reading Room at Boston Spa, near Wetherby. At that point we have just made available legal deposit books and serials held on-site in Yorkshire, massively expanding the proportion of collection items accessible in Boston Spa.

We have now extended the range of accessible items still further and you can also request legal deposit and general reference books and serials held in London, for viewing in Boston Spa. This means that, for the first time, some 85% of the collection items requested in our London Reading Rooms are now also available to Readers in Yorkshire.

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Along with UK publications received through legal deposit, the latest extension also makes available overseas books and serial titles purchased by the Library for the general reference collection.

Readers at Boston Spa can now request:

  • Legal deposit collections held both in London and Yorkshire;
  • General reference collections held both in London and Yorkshire, including purchased non-UK titles;
  • Microfilmed newspapers;
  • Print newspapers (where no surrogate copy is available);
  • Document Supply collections.

Electronic resources including the British Newspaper Archive are also available.

As with other collections that have been made available recently at Boston Spa, requests should be made 48 hours in advance. Registered Readers can order items online and track the progress of their orders using My Reading Room Requests.    

Since the service was extended at the end of August, we have had positive feedback from regular users.

Dr Dorothea Debus, of the Department of Philosophy at the University of York, says: “The first item I ordered up from London was quite a specialized book, and in the past I would have either just ignored it, or else I would eventually probably have 'cracked' and bought it myself (even though I don't need it on my own bookshelf at all) in order to be able to look through it. Now I’m able to order such items to consult right here in Boston Spa, which strikes me as truly amazing. It makes a huge difference to working here and has turned what used to be a very good place to work into an amazing research facility.”

Users of St Pancras with a valid Reader Pass can use Boston Spa. Otherwise, you should pre-register for a Reader Pass online. Once you’ve registered, you can begin to request items and, within 48 hours, make your first visit to Boston Spa to obtain your Reader pass (which is also valid for our St Pancras Reading Rooms) and start exploring our collections.

Jerry Shillito

Head of Reader and Reference Services

 

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