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Using the Library

Please see below for useful information on who may use the Library, guidance on accessibility and rules of conduct for readers.


The library at Lincoln’s Inn has disabled access and stocks resources for blind and visually impaired readers.

Disabled access

Access to the Library via a lift is available for wheelchair users and readers with poor mobility. The lift is accessed via the Library extension on the North Lawn. Click here for a map showing the entrance to the Library extension. Access via this route is controlled by an entry phone which connects with the Library Enquiry Desk.

Height-adjustable table

The Library has a height-adjustable table designed for wheelchair users, so they can study in comfort.

Hearing induction loop

The Enquiry Desk is fitted with a hearing induction loop.

Resources for blind and visually impaired readers

The Library has a dedicated pc with the following features. For more information, please ask at the Enquiry Desk or call us on 020 7242 4371.

  • JAWS software – Screen reader software for use with databases. Headphones are available at the Enquiry Desk – please ask staff.
  • Zoomtext – Screen magnifying software for visually impaired users
  • Adjustable screen – The pc screen for visually impaired readers is mounted on an adjustable bracket, so users can position the screen effectively.

For further information regarding access please contact the Enquiry Desk on 020 7242 4371.

Who may use the Library

The Library is open to all members of the Inn and all barristers with chambers in the Inn and their pupils. Barristers who are not members and have chambers elsewhere are welcome to use the Library for material not held by their own Inn, but may not borrow.

Solicitors may use the Library, by appointment only, as a last resort for material not held in other London law libraries. The legal collections are not available to litigants in person or the general public.

Rules of conduct for readers

Outside scholars are welcome to use the Library’s rare books and manuscripts and the Inn’s archives by appointment. Application should be made by post or email to the Librarian or, in the case of the Inn’s archives, to the Archivist, attaching a letter of introduction from university or appropriate institution.

The Library is happy to answer genealogical and other enquiries from the public about past members of the Inn. Such enquiries should be by letter or e-mail. Personal visits in connection with such enquiries are not generally necessary and should only be made by prior arrangement.

Members/barristers only

Barristers and their clerks, Bar students and members of the four Inns of Court may use the Library.
If you are not automatically entitled to use the Library and have a particular reason for wanting to use the Library’s collections, please apply to the Librarian in advance.

Food and drink

Please do not bring any food or drink into the Library. The only drink allowed in the Library is water in a container with a non-spill cap.


Please do not take any photographs in the Library. The Library is for research and study and taking photographs is disruptive for other readers. In exceptional circumstances, permission to take a photograph may be permitted, but only at the discretion of Library staff.

Other readers

Please be considerate of the requirements of other readers and help maintain a quiet environment suitable for study. Please do not leave bags unattended in the Library.

Mobile phone use

Please do not speak on your phone in the Library and keep the ring tone on silent. If you must take a phone call, we ask you to step outside the Library.

Complying with copyright and online licences

You must familiarise yourself with and abide by the terms of licence conditions when using electronic databases. You may only make copies from library material as allowed by current UK copyright legislation.

Rare books, manuscripts and archive use

If you would like to use a rare book or manuscript (shown on our Catalogue as “Strong Room”):

  • Please apply in advance to the Librarian or Archivist
  • Rare books and manuscripts must be returned to the Enquiry Desk by 6.45pm, and archive items to be returned to the Archivist by 4.30pm
  • You will be asked to sit at the designated table near the enquiry desk
  • You may only make notes with pencil
  • For security purposes we will only provide one book or manuscript at a time
  • Material is made available at the discretion of Library staff. Please be aware that certain items may be judged too fragile to handle
  • You may apply for permission to photograph rare books, manuscripts or archives for the purposes of research or private study
  • Application should be made on this form. Please note that permission to photograph is made at the discretion of Library staff

How to find us

The Library is located in the north end of the Great Hall complex. Click on the image for a full screen version.