Due to major building activity at the Library you may hear some intermittent construction noise during your visit. We apologise for the inconvenience and we are grateful for your understanding. Some of our collection is also temporarily unavailable. This means we may not be able to fulfil some requests for deliveries of Library items to the Reading Rooms. At the moment, this includes the Pictures Collections - Hanging Art Works (until September 2024). Please check the catalogue carefully to find out if your selection is impacted. Learn more about these temporary changes.

Two people sitting and reading books in the Petherick Reading Room

Please note that there are no collection deliveries in evenings or on weekends and that delivery times vary throughout the week. Check delivery times before you visit.

The Petherick Reading Room provides facilities, staff support and additional privileges for readers who are undertaking advanced research and require more intensive or ongoing access to the National Library’s collections than is offered through the Main Reading Room.

It is co-located within the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1 of the Library.

Researchers may apply for Petherick Reader status if they intend to undertake advanced research and intensively use the Library’s collections onsite. Many Petherick Readers are, for example, writing a book or conducting other long-term or in-depth research, or undertaking shorter term research as a visiting scholar.

Applications for a Petherick Reader’s card should demonstrate both a proven record of research and a need to use a significant amount of material relevant to the Library’s collection strengths.

Successful applicants are issued with a Petherick Reader’s card for a time period that is appropriate to the expected duration of their research.

If you are undertaking advanced research and need to visit the Library to make long-term use of the Library’s collections you may apply for a Petherick Reader’s card.

Further information about Petherick registration and guidelines is available on the website. If you would like to know more consult the Petherick Guidelines or Ask a Librarian.

View Reading Room Opening Hours