Find your way at the library
KB consists of both a grand 19th century building and a beautiful glass annex. Here you will find several reading rooms and expeditions. 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.
- KB'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 Reading Room in the picture is preserved to a high degree in its original condition.
- In our large Reading Room, you read the material you retrieve in the Information and Loan Expedition. 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 visitors who have special bookcases. Other visitors are welcome to use the parts of the reference library found here.
- In the Information and Loan Expedition you can ask questions and retrieve your pre-ordered books. 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 Catalog Room you will find parts of the reference library, book scanners and public computers. On open shelves, the latest volumes of foreign books stand for home loans. There are also special shelves where you can collect the foreign books you have ordered from our storage rooms.
- In the Special Collections Reading Room you pick up and read 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 large reading room. These include magazines printed before the year 1850 and materials from several other collections: manuscripts, everyday prints, maps, pictures, music prints and material from the archives. There are also catalogs and reference libraries for manuscripts, maps and pictures.
- The Annex, which is adjacent to the back of KB, was completed in 1997. Here you will find study places, an exhibition hall, a lecture lall, a Journal reading room, rooms for audiovisual media and a microfilm reading room.
- In the Annex there are seats for those who want to study their own material. There are also places where it is possible to work in groups.
- On floor 2 of KB's appendix you will find last year's editions of about 900 Swedish and foreign journals that are free to read without ordering in advance.
- KB's Auditorium seen from below. Here, for example, we organize Stories from KB where you can listen to lectures related to our collections.
- In KB's Treasury Room 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 work 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 KB'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. Everyone can access the material in the Microfilm Reading Room without KB's library card.
- At Café Valfrid on the entrance level you can have a snack or eat simpler food like sandwiches and salads. There is also a dedicated area - picnic room - for visitors wishing to eat a packed lunch. Unfortunately, there is no facility for heating food.
- The Sumlen Restaurant is situated in the cellar vault, one floor beneath the ground level. Sumlen serves lunch on week days and also offer a vegetarian alternative on the menu. They also cater for alternative food preferences, such as vegan, lactose or gluten-free food.
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