Find your way at the library
The National Library consists of both a grand 19th century building and a beautiful glass annex. Here you will find several reading rooms. Where to turn to depends on the type of material you want to study.
The reading rooms are mainly intended for those studying material from the National Library’s collections. Other visitors are welcome to use the reading rooms if there are places available. Remember that opening hours may differ for various reading rooms. Find the opening hours here.
- The National Library's beautiful Entrance Hall seen from the inside. The marbled entrance is largely preserved in its original condition since the library was inaugurated in 1878. Architect was Gustaf Dahl.
- The planning of the library was based on international ideas of how reading rooms, as well as fire safety and other practical issues, should be arranged. The house was built in modern materials with new technology. The cast iron construction was one of the first in the country. It enabled an open floor plan and large halls with high ceilings as well as big windows. The Main Reading Room in the picture is preserved to a high degree in its original condition.
- In the library's Main Reading Room, you study the material you retrieve at the Information and Loans Desk. It is mainly Swedish books, brochures and journals printed after the year 1829, but also foreign journals and foreign books printed before 1900.
- In the Research Reading Room, there are seats for researchers who have special booklockers. Other visitors to the library are welcome to use the reference library found here.
- At the Information and Loans Desk you can ask questions and retrieve your pre-ordered books and journals. This applies especially to Swedish books, brochures and journals printed after 1829, but also to foreign journals and foreign books printed before 1900.
- In the Catalogue Room you will find parts of the reference library, book scanners and public computers. There are shelves where you collect the foreign books you have pre-ordered from our closed stacks.
- In the Special Collections Reading Room you study books and magazines printed before the year 1830 as well as materials that for various reasons are considered too delicate or unique for handling in the Main Reading Room. This includes newspapers printed before the year 1850 and materials from several other collections: manuscripts, ephemera, maps, pictures, music prints and material from the National Library's archives. There are also catalogues and a reference library for manuscripts, maps and pictures.
- The Annex, which is built at the back of the main library building, was completed in 1997. Here you will find study places, the Treasury, the Auditorium, the Journal Reading Room, Audiovisual Media and the Microfilm Reading Room.
- In the Annex there are seats for those who want to study their own material.
- In the Journal Reading Room you will find the latest issues of about 900 Swedish and foreign journals.
- The National Library's Auditorium seen from below. Here we organize e.g. Stories from KB, a series of lectures related to our collections.
- In the National Library's Treasury the Codex Gigas is on public display. The Codex Gigas, also known as the Devil's Bible, is mainly famous for two reasons: it is believed to be the world's largest preserved medieval manuscript and it contains a large full-page portrait of the Devil. If you would like to browse the book and see the famous portrait, you can do this on a digital screen next to the showcase.
- The Microfilm Reading Room is on the ground floor of the library's annex. Here you will find Swedish daily press. You can access the collection either on microfilm or digitally through the Digitized Swedish Newspapers service. A library card is not required here.
Take a look into the closed stores
Under the Library building in Humlegården, there are two man-made caverns. This is where most of the National Library’s collections are held in closed stores. Take our virtual tour and get a 360 degrees look around.Explore the Library underground