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All City of London Lending Libraries will be CLOSED for the bank holidays on Monday 6 May and Monday 27 May.
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 Visit the library for

  • Sheet music and scores including chamber music sets, vocal scores, songbooks, full scores and much more all available for loan
  • Books about music and music magazines
  • The largest selection of CDs in any London public library with strong holdings across a wide range of genres, plus music DVDs
  • CD listening booths
  • Music electronic resources including classical music streaming service Naxos Music Library (log in with library card no. starting with P, prefixed by CL) 
  • Music eBooks and audiobooks
  • Friendly, expert staff
  • Regular music exhibitions and events
  • Support for your health and wellbeing
  • Free electronic piano hire
  • Gilbert & Sullivan Society Library

The Library is wheelchair accessible and there is disabled parking available. Please see the Barbican Centre website for more information.

We have two electronic pianos available for customers to use, free of charge and we provide headphones in exchange for ID.

Pianos can be booked for up to one hour per day, either on the day or one day in advance. Any un-booked sessions will be available on a first come, first served basis to all users. Sessions may be forfeited if you are more than 10 minutes late. 

Call or email to make a booking. 

We can borrow orchestral sets and vocal scores for your choir or orchestra, via interlibrary loan. We do not offer a postal service, so they must be collected in person.

Email Barbican Music Library with the following information:

  • Name of your group & where you are located
  • Composer, title and edition (where known) of the piece(s)
  • Number of copies required
  • Date by which you need the music (minimum of one month’s notice required)
  • Date of your performance

Charges are as follows:

Choirs and orchestras based in the City of London

  • Vocal scores: £1 per part
  • Orchestral sets: £45 per loan

For a trial period starting in August 2022 we will be expanding the service to choirs and orchestras based within the M25 (but outside the ‘Square Mile’).

Charges are as follows:

  • Vocal scores: £1.50 per part
  • Orchestral sets: £60 per loan

Please note: we cannot guarantee that the service to groups outside the City of London will continue beyond the end of the trial period.

Promotes music by artists without a record deal who are based in the London area by stocking their CDs in the library. We accept music of all genres and it is a great and easy way of promoting your music and attracting new fans as the public can borrow the CDs for free.

If you are a musician or in a band and you would like to donate a CD of your music to the library, drop by or email the Barbican Music Library Team.

Barbican Music Library houses the Library of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society which is for reference only.

You can browse the collection on the City of London Libraries catalogue, or search the catalogue and select 'Gilbert and Sullivan Society Library' under the 'genre/area' filter. 

For further information, please visit the Gilbert and Sullivan Society website.

To request an item from the Gilbert and Sullivan Library please call or email the Barbican Music Library in advance of your visit.

Barbican Music Library has indexed each song held in our collection of sheet music anthologies of popular, jazz and folk songs, songs from musicals and films, classical songs and opera arias. Search the song index.

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Barbican and Community Libraries Strategy PDF (700KB)
This document details the ambitions of the City of London’s lending libraries and shows how their work links with corporate and national objectives.
Date submitted: 6/09/21


If you would like to sponsor our programmes for adults and children, please consider making a donation to our libraries. 100% of all monies received from donations comes to the Barbican and Community Libraries service.