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Visit the Foyle Reading Room

The Foyle Reading Room is a modern and comfortable 70-seat space for consulting and researching items in our Collections.

Opening hours

The Foyle Reading Room is open Monday to Friday. If you are planning a research visit, booking is required.

The opening times are Monday to Friday 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm (6.30pm when there is a Monday night lecture).

To make an appointment please email

The Foyle Reading Room team have access to our digital archive and can help with many enquiries via email




Anyone over 16 can register as a reader in the Foyle Reading Room and use the Collections (11-16 year olds by arrangement). To register as a reader, please bring your Society membership card. Non-members should bring their photo driving licence or passport, and a recent utility bill. If you wish to register as an educational user, please also bring your student/staff card (library cards are not accepted).

The Foyle Reading Room is accessible to wheelchairs and has free WiFi.


Planning your visit

If there are specific items that you wish to consult during your visit, please contact the enquiries desk by email or telephone +44 (0)20 7591 3044, to arrange for materials to be retrieved in advance of your visit.



Use of the Foyle Reading Room is free for Society Fellows and members, and those in formal education (proof of educational status required). Other charges:

  • £10 per day for members of the public

  • Rates for commercial access 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 Foyle Reading Room, such as pens, coats and bags. A £1 coin is required as a deposit. Cameras and other forms of copying equipment are not allowed. Readers are photographed on registration.



  • Photocopying for private, educational and research use is available at the discretion of the Principal Librarian

  • Copying for commercial use can be arranged through the Picture Library

  • Free WiFi is available in the Foyle Reading Room

  • Web access is provided to a series of research-related sites

  • You can reserve items in advance of your visit by email, phone or post.

  • Visitors are also welcome to make use of the Members' Room upstairs. Our staff can show you where this is located. 

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