St Bride Library houses one of the world’s most remarkable and irreplaceable collections encapsulating the history of print, typography and design. We exist to tell the story of print, providing creative inspiration for the communities of designers, researchers, printers and the public who bring life to our building and library collections.

On our shelves you will find a treasure trove of books, archives and all manner of printed material, as well as the physical objects of printing and type founding. We are also home to one of the largest and most significant collections of type specimens.

Reading Room appointments

Explore our unique collections by booking a Reading Room appointment. Our Reading Room is open every Wednesday, 12:00-3:00pm or 3:30-6:30pm, by appointment.

Please email to book a space.

The reading room will be closed throughout August 2024, to allow the library team to carry out important collections management work. We will continue to operate an enquiries service as usual.

Using the Reading Room

Browse our online catalogue and send us a list of items you wish to see at least 48 hours ahead of your visit. Please include the Title, Author/Creator, Accession Number/Reference Number and Shelf Reference wherever possible. We recommend up to 10 items per booking.

There is a selection of books available to browse on the open shelves in the Reading Room, however, the majority of our collections are in Closed Access storage and must be requested in advance.

In order to help care for our collections, we ask you to observe the following regulations:

All new readers are required to fill in a Reader Registration Form.

All outerwear and bags must be left in a designated area.

No food or drink are to be consumed in the Reading Room.

Only pencils or electronic devices may be used for taking notes – no pens please.

Collections should be handled with clean, dry hands and any book rests, weights or gloves provided should be used as directed.

Please read and follow our Collections Handling Guidelines and ask a member of staff for advice if needed.


Any charges for using our library service help to support the running of our library and print workshop and the conservation of our unique collections.

You can find details of our charges here.

Help with your research

We welcome research and general enquiries about the services we provide. Before you submit an enquiry, you might find the answer on our website or online catalogue.

At present, our online catalogue mostly contains information about published material and type specimens. We are working to catalogue more of our archives, special collections and objects, but in the meantime please contact us for information about these areas of our collections.

Please note that we cannot carry out detailed research on your behalf.

To find out more about our learning programme see here

Please email us at


Enter a simple search here:

Alternatively a more structured exploration can be carried out using our online catalogue.