Reference Libraries in the Best of the Web UK Directory

Reference Libraries


E-zine for information professionals working for libraries, archives, and museums. Published every three months by UKOLN at Bath University. Includes searchable archives.


Specialist supplier to art and design libraries. Includes a monthly bulletin, exhibition catalogues and database of available books.

The British Library

A free exhibition of the most significant treasures in the world, from Magna Carta to Leonardo's notebook to Beatles lyrics, and more. britishlibrary

The Catholic National Library.

Offers an overview of their collections and services, including a postal service, reading lists, and a searchable catalogue.

Chawton House Library

Provides details of this library's catalogue and visiting arrangements; specialises in women's writing in English from 1600 to 1830.

Copac National, Academic, and Specialist Library Catalogue

Gives free access to the merged online catalogues of many major university, specialist, and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. Includes FAQ, help resources, and a list of participating institutions.

The Cox Library

Private library devoted to the thoroughbred horse. Contains information on the latest additions, plus an ask the librarian feature.

Designing Libraries

A freely accessible resource for everyone interested in design and innovation in libraries; includes resources and news, and a collection of examples of best practice from around the world.


Holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Over 9 million records are available for download.

The Evangelical Library

Maintains a collection of evangelical Christian books and an archive of many periodicals; includes an online catalogue, details of membership and services, news, events, and contacts.

Find it

A guide to library collections throughout England leading users to the right library and the right information in your region or beyond.

Glasgow Women’s Library

Houses a collection of materials by, for, and about women, and the Lesbian Archive; includes a history, with details of its education projects and events diary.

Graphic Novels in Libraries UK -

Discussion group covering the topic of graphic novels in libraries.

Historic Library Forum

Formed to promote awareness of the contribution of historic libraries to the national pool of library and information resources. Provides an event diary, list of publications, and links.

Internet Librarian International

Major librarian and information management conference, held annually in London. intlibintl

The Islamic Foundation Library

Established as a small private collection in 1977, now a centre for research and academic work in Islamic studies in Leicestershire. Includes a guide to their collections and services, with details of membership.

Libraries for Life for Londoners (LLL)

Set up in 1999, this is an alliance of London library user groups.

Libraries Week

A week of promotions and activities in celebration of libraries.

Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens

A guide to one of the largest collections in the world relating to botany, held in the library and archives at Kew, with catalogues of their collections and visitor information.


Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference, held annually to discuss the role of libraries in literacy.

LIS (Library and Information Science) Research Coalition

Working to develop and facilitate a co-ordinated and strategic approach to LIS research across the UK. Withe details of events, conferences, and publications.

Reading Sight

Provides a library of resources for adults and young people with visual impairments about reading and finding accessible formats; also includes resources for librarians and teachers, and a blog. readingsight

Red Phonebox Library

A BBC page with details of a Derbyshire village that purchased a red phonebox and converted it into a book exchange.

Report Digital

Independent picture library that brings together a diverse group of photographers in depicting the contradictions of contemporary life.

Repositories Support Project

Defines a digital repository and offers advice for building, expansion and increasing use. Includes legal issues and a planning check list.

Research And Special Collections Available Locally

RASCAL offers research resources in Northern Ireland, including special collections in libraries, museums and archives across the region. Perform searches by keyword, title, or institution.

RLUK (Research Libraries UK)

Established to support and coordinate the resources of research libraries; information about their groups, projects, membership, events, and publications.

Squire Law Library

Dependent library of Cambridge University Library, established in 1904. Contains information on library catalogues and legal databases and details of legal research courses.

Wistow mobile library

Details of routes, visiting times and dates of mobile library services in this village.

Working Class Movement Library

History of the Salford collection, a catalogue, and pages on trades and individual trade unions, each with brief history and items held. Includes articles, item of the month and information for visitors.

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