skip to main content

Library Guide

A Guide to Collections and Services


The Library is open to barrister, judicial and student members of all four Inns of Court. The legal collections are essentially for reference only, but there is a limited loans scheme: see the loans section.


Legal Terms

Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 8.00pm
Friday 9.00am – 7.00pm

In addition one of the four Inn Libraries opens from 10.00am to 5.00pm on each Saturday during legal terms. Saturday Opening Calendars are available in the Library and details of the timetable are publicised on the Library website (

Outside Legal Terms

During August and the first half of September the opening hours are 9.00am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Occasional changes, public holidays, etc. will be posted in advance on the library website.


Law reports, legislation, textbooks (including old editions) and journals relating to the law of England and Wales form the bulk of the Library’s holdings. In addition there are extensive collections of Scottish and Irish law, EU law and International law.


The Library holds a large collection of Commonwealth law. This forms part of a specialisation scheme under which each of the four Inns attempts to cover in depth an area outside English law. The responsibility for Commonwealth law is shared with Lincoln’s Inn – a list of the jurisdictions for which each Inn is responsible is posted on the website, and copies are available from the Enquiry Point. Lincoln’s Inn also holds an extensive collection of Parliamentary material. Middle Temple covers both EU law and United States law, and Gray’s Inn International law.

Non-law Collections

Non-law holdings include collections of history, biography, heraldry, genealogy, topography and literature. Books in the non-law collections can be borrowed.

Manuscript Collection

Besides printed books the Library holds an important collection of historical manuscripts dating from the twelfth century to the twentieth. It includes the Petyt Manuscripts, bequeathed to the Inn in 1707 by William Petyt, Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London and Treasurer of the Inner Temple 1701-1702. The manuscript collection is made available to scholars and other bona fide researchers upon written application.

New Basement Store and Reading Room

Frequently used old editions, Parliamentary works and Local & Personal Acts are stored here for swift retrieval during Library opening hours. Please ask staff at the Enquiry Point. The Reading Room can also be booked for joining longer video calls or remote meetings. Please ask staff at the Enquiry Point.

Littleton Building

Much of the Library’s older legal material is housed in the basement of the Littleton Building. This material is accessible between 10.00am and 5.30pm on application to staff at the Enquiry Point.


The Library operates weekly and overnight loan schemes for members of the Inns. Full details of the schemes are available at the Enquiry Point.


Almost all of the Library’s holdings may be searched in the online catalogue.

If this Library does not hold what you are looking for, staff at the Enquiry Point will advise you on other collections where you may obtain it.


The Patron-Driven Acquisition Scheme ( is intended to be responsive to the needs of Inner Temple Library users if they discover a book that they need is not available in the Library collection.

All requests meeting the criteria will be automatically purchased whilst funds remain available. Items that do not meet the criteria will be considered by the Librarian and the Books Sub-Committee but without a guarantee of purchase.


The catalogues and databases described below are available on all the PCs in the Library. The PCs also have MS Office installed and can be used with USB memory sticks (which are available for purchase from the Enquiry Point).

Library Catalogues

Our catalogue and those of the other three Inns of Court Libraries are available online in the Library and are also available to external users.


The Library subscribes to a number of commercial services including:

Bloomsbury Professional Online
Criminal Law Week
Electronic Immigration Network
i-law (selected content)
ICLR Online
Kemp on Lawtel via Westlaw
Lawtel via Westlaw
Lexis+ (UK and Commonwealth content and Practical Guidance (previously Lexis PSL))
Practical Law
The Times Digital Archive 1785-2019
The Times Law Reports (via vLexJustis)
vLexJustis (selected UK and Caribbean databases)
Westlaw Canada
Westlaw UK

Our subscription services are only available in the Library. The exceptions are Bloomsbury Professional Online and Lexis+ Practical Guidance which are available for remote access to barrister members based outside of London. Remote access can be arranged by emailing or

Current Awareness Blog (

The Library’s current awareness blog provides up-to-date information on new case law, changes in legislation and legal news. The content is selected, indexed and updated daily by Library staff.

Social Media

The Library’s social media accounts include details of services, news, events and useful links.

Facebook (

Instagram (

LinkedIn (

X (formerly Twitter) (


There are three self service photocopying machines in the Photocopier Room near the Library Enquiry Point. Two copiers have the facility to scan and email. They also function as the library printers. Accounts and pin numbers may be set up at the Enquiry Point for use with these devices. The third machine is for copying only and accepts coins.

The charges are 10p per page for photocopying or printing and 5p per page for scanning.


Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the Library. The password is on display on the tables. Power and USB sockets are available on the large Library tables. Please keep devices on silent. Calls may only be made in the Photocopier Lobby area which has a phone booth for making and receiving phone calls, joining video calls or remote meetings.


Library staff offer tailored one-to-one training on the subscription databases and legal research. Contact for more details, or to book a session.

A Frequently Asked Legal Research Questions section is available on the Library’s website. The questions and responses cover UK and EU case law and legislation, treaties and Parliamentary publications, and there is also a glossary of legal terms.

Staff based at the Enquiry Point can assist with legal research enquiries.


Copyright legislation permitting, photocopies of material held in the Library can be supplied by scan/email or post to barrister members of all four Inns and to student members of the Inner Temple. In addition copies of material not held by any of the Inn Libraries can be obtained on behalf of Inner Temple barristers from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.  There are charges for both of these services. Full details are available from the Enquiry Point or the Library’s website. Initial enquiries may be made by telephone or email to


Access is via a lift (which will accommodate a wheelchair).

Staff will be pleased to assist any reader who is unable to access the material or equipment they require, e.g. material on high shelves or photocopier controls.

There is one PC with Jaws screen reading software installed in Room C and large monitor screens throughout the Library.

All the Library PCs are running Windows 10. On the desktop there are various tools, including the built-in Magnifier, the Windows Narrator and the On-screen Keyboard.

Adobe Acrobat  is installed on all Library PCs, and will read out most, though not all, PDF files. Adobe Acrobat can also magnify PDFs.

There is a height adjustable desk in Room C.

Headphones are available in the Library.

The Library has a video magnifier, which can be used to magnify material from the print collections. This has a 19 inch monitor and has a wide range of adjustable magnification (from x2.4 to x77). It also has options for changing contrast and colours to suit different vision needs.

A portable induction loop for the hearing impaired is available on request from the Enquiry Point.


Please ask if you need any assistance. We try to keep the Enquiry Point staffed at all times.

We welcome comments on the Library’s services and these can be made direct to staff at the Enquiry Point, by email or via social media.

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
The Library
Crown Office Row
Inner Temple
Tel: 020 7797 8217 / 8218

Map of the Inner Temple Library