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Our collections

The National Poetry Library’s extensive collection covers the period 1912 to the present day. You can find all of the major poets of the 20th and 21st centuries along with a whole range of overlooked and emerging talents.

The library continues to collect all UK poetry books from major and independent press publishers. There are also a number of special collections which can be accessed, including audio, magazines, zines, press cuttings, images of poets, postcards and posters. There is a dedicated section for children’s books and also a section of resources for teachers.

Loan collection

The library offers an extensive loan collection which you can borrow from after taking out membership. Our catalogue is online and can be searched by subject, genre, nationality, language as well as author, title and publisher.

search our catalogue

How to find a book

Wherever possible we acquire two copies of each title, one for reference, which never leaves the library, the second for loan. Books are arranged alphabetically by author, with a separate section for anthologies.

how to search our magazines

Our extensive magazine collection is available for reference only, and is arranged alphabetically by title. If you can’t visit the library in person, you can browse a selection of UK poetry magazines from 1912 onwards online.


search magazine collection

Collection highlights

Discover some of our collection highlights below. We're digitising them for the future so that they can be even more easily accessed.

Discover a treasure trove of records
Rare items by iconic feminist poets
Poetry books just for children (although we're sure adults will enjoy them too!)
Explore works by countercultural poets who helped define a generation
Find out about our extensive poster collection, including Poems on the Underground
Find out about our postcard and poem card collections
Find out what poetry we have for you to listen to
Discover our collection of over 200,000 press cuttings