A staff member helping a visitor in the Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms, Tate Britain

Registering to use the main Library collection

As a Library Reader you will have access to the main Reading Room, with reference access to the Library's collection of exhibition catalogues, books and journals.

On your first visit, you must:

Membership is for one year and is renewable.

Registering to use the Archive, Gallery Records and Library Special Collections

As an Archive Reader you will have access to the main Library collection and Archive, public records and special collections. On your first visit, you must bring proof of your current home address and a separate form of photographic ID from the lists below.


Photographic ID

  • passport
  • national identity card*
  • photographic driver’s licence*
  • British Library reader’s ticket
  • photographic student identity card
  • photographic workplace identity card
  • Blue Badge parking permit
  • Freedom Pass photo card

Proof of address

  • utility bill (gas, electricity, telephone, water) **
  • bank / building society statement **
  • credit card statement **
  • council tax bill / council rent book **
  • state pension book
  • national identity card with address*
  • driver’s license with address*
  • university certificate for hall of residence (stamped and signed by institution)
  • home office permit to stay
  • TV licence
  • home insurance policy
  • pay slips (where employer’s and employee’s addresses are stated)
  • student loans company LEA/SAAS award letter
  • NHS health card
  • Pension / Benefit Agency / Family credit letter statement
  • Tenancy agreement

All documents must be originals. Print-outs and photocopies will not be accepted.

* These documents can only be used as either proof of address or proof of identity; not for both. Some driving licences and national identity cards do not show your address; we cannot accept these as proof of address.

** These documents must be dated within the last three months

You will also be photographed for our membership database on your first visit; this is to identify you on future visits.

Please read our guide to facilities and services at the Reading Rooms.

Registering via SCONUL Access

As a Band A SCONUL Access Reader (i.e. academic staff or research student) you will have the same access as a Library Reader, plus a borrowing entitlement of two items. (Other SOCONUL Access card holders must register for reference-only access as above.)

On your first visit, and on every occasion you wish to borrow items, you must bring:

  • your SCONUL confirmation email or your SCONUL Access card
  • current ID from your university or college.


You must read the Reading Rooms regulations and complete and sign a registration form [PDF, 39 KB] We ask that you provide your personal contact details and the name of your institution on our registration form. Your personal details will need to be added to our computer system; once this is done you will be sent a welcome email and you will then be able to borrow items.

Membership is for one year and renewable. You will be contacted toward the end of your membership.


You may borrow up to two standard items. We reserve the right to refuse to lend any item.

We will not lend: artists’ books; Special Collections items; audio-visual materials; ephemera; oversize items; reference items; whole issues of serials, periodicals or journals; small catalogues (items of less than 16 pages); sales catalogues; any pre-1960 publication; rare or fragile items.

The standard loan period is three weeks, with one renewal of a further three weeks. After that date loans must be returned to the Reading Rooms.

You are personally responsible for items borrowed. Please make sure that you take care of them and return them in good condition. Lost and damaged items will be charged to you at their replacement price.

Returning items to the Reading Rooms

Items can be returned in person at the Reading Rooms enquiry desk, or by post. Please package items securely in either a book-box or a padded envelope and send them, via special delivery as a minimum requirement, to:

Tate Library
Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG

Bookings and enquiries

Call +44 (0)20 7887 8838
Email reading.rooms@tate.org.uk

Or write to:

Tate Library and Archive
Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG
United Kingdom