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Foyle Reading Room

The Foyle Reading Room is a contemporary 70-seat area, providing consultation space for using our Collections.


Opening hours

  • 10.00am-5.00pm, Monday to Friday
  • Plus 5.00pm-6.30pm for Society members before Monday Night Lectures
  • Closed public holidays

Visiting the Foyle Reading Room

Anyone over 16 may use the Collections (11-16 by arrangement). To register as a reader, please bring your RGS-IBG membership card. Non-members should bring formal photographic identification (ID), either photo driving licence or passport - plus student/staff card if an educational user (library cards are not accepted) - and a recent utility bill. The Foyle Reading Room is accessible to wheelchairs and has Wi-Fi.

Planning to visit the Foyle Reading Room

If you have identified specific items that you wish to consult during your visit, it is recommended that you contact the enquiries desk, email enquiries@rgs.org or telephone +44 (0)20 7591 3044 to pre-arrange for materials to be retrieved in advance of your visit.


Free to RGS-IBG members and those in formal education (proof of educational status required). Other charges:

  • £10 per day for members of the public
  • Commercial access – rates on application
  • Free staff support for initial enquiries
  • A charging policy covers detailed one-to-one help and research
  • Access to all the catalogues is free


Lockers are provided for items which cannot be brought into the Reading Room (£1 coin required as deposit). Cameras and other forms of copying equipment are not allowed. Readers are photographed on registration.


  • Photocopying for private, educational and research use available at the discretion of the Principal Librarian
  • Copying for commercial use can be arranged through the Picture Library
  • Readers are welcome to use laptops
  • Web access is provided to a series of research-related sites
  • Items may be reserved in advance of your visit (by email/phone/post)

Occasionally, materials can only be requested by prior appointment; please contact us for further details.

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