British Library

We are the national library of the UK and we’re making a new home for the British Library in the heart of Leeds.

Our shelves hold over 170 million items – a living collection that gets bigger every day. Although our roots extend back centuries, we collect everything published today, tomorrow and decades into the future. We have millions of books, but also newspapers, maps, sound recordings, patents and stamps.

For decades we have welcomed researchers to our Boston Spa site, where we house over 70% of our collection and many of our staff. We support hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs through our Business & IP Centre at Leeds Central Library. And we partner with local public libraries throughout Leeds, via our Living Knowledge Network, to deliver exhibitions and events across the city.

Since 2019, we’ve expanded our work with communities, educators and cultural partners in the region, as part of our plans to create a new home in Leeds. An open, welcoming hub where people and ideas flow freely.

By establishing a new site, in a city that champions innovation, we can open up opportunities. For local people to develop their skills and interests, for children and grown-ups alike to ignite their imaginations, for researchers to advance their work, and for business ideas to evolve. Creating a modern library that not only makes space for discovery but for collaboration. Where anyone can connect with their heritage, with culture and with each other.

Three adults and a young person hold copies of a book. Behind them is a library

Northern Dreaming Leeds - Kully Thiarai - Elena Barham - Rimpu Bains - Jamie Andrews - Credit JMA photography

Boston Spa, Wetherby, LS23 7BQ

Two adults facing away from the camera, looking at a light grey wall filled with framed art of varying sizes and mediums

The British Library and Leeds Art Gallery's 2022 exhibition 'Jill McKnight: Desire Lines’. Credit Jules Lister

A group of 15 young people wearing a variety of streetwear and traditional dress, sitting outdoors on the steps of an old building

The young people who co-created 'Cooked with Love', a recipe collection produced with the British Library. Credit Nicola Fox

Aerial view of a variety of different sized buildings in natural surroundings. Three tall buildings dominate the image and cars can be seen parked between them.

The British Library's Boston Spa site - Credit: British Library

An adult sits at a desk, studying a large, aged book while writing in a notebook

The British Library's Reading Room at their Boston Spa site. Credit Drew Forsyth

Member category