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Resource highlight: Market research information at the British Library

Image of market research reports

This article describes the rich collection of print and digital market research reports from leading publishers such as Mintel, Key Note and Euromonitor available at the British Library. It includes information to help you start your research and contact details for help and advice. With some reports dating back to the 1970s the collection records the recent history of industrial and consumer markets in the UK, and the most recent reports provide useful insights for people starting or running their own business.

What is it? What can it help me to do?

The British Library has been collecting market intelligence reports for the last 30 years. Longstanding relationships with key players in UK market research publishing, such as Mintel, Key Note and Euromonitor, have enabled us to build up a significant archive of data on consumer and industrial markets. Alongside reports from these publishers we have been able to collect reports from leading sector-specific publishers such as Verdict (retail) and Ovum (IT), and reports from UK trade associations and the trade press covering sectors as diverse as banking, fire protection and horticulture.

Together, these sources document the development of UK industrial and consumer markets since the late 1970s and enable researchers to:

  • Trace the history of companies and brands
  • Follow trends in products and services
  • Track changes in lifestyles, attitudes and consumer behaviour.

More recent reports and digital market information databases are available to Reader Pass holders in our Business and IP Centre – see below. Executive summaries of recent Key Note reports are freely available online on the MBS Portal in the Marketing section of the site.

Watch a Youtube video about the British Library's collections of market research information.

How and where can I use it?

You will need a Reader Pass to use the printed reports in our Reading Rooms. You can start your application online but will need to come to the Reader Registration office at St Pancras, London to show your proof of identity and complete the process. The early reports are held in storage and can be ordered up to our Reading Rooms in St Pancras, London or Boston Spa, Yorkshire. The more recent reports and all of our market information databases are available to Registered Readers in our Business and IP Centre at St Pancras, London.

Getting started

We suggest you spend some time identifying material you want to see in advance of your visit by searching our catalogue or you might find it useful to discuss your research needs with us. If you do contact us prior to your visit, we can confirm the availability of individual reports and we may be able to pre-order older reports from storage and have them ready for you.

If you would like to talk to someone about the market research collection and how it might help with your research, please email mbseditor@bl.uk and one of our team will contact you within 5 working days.

Further reading

Resource highlight: Trade and company literature 1850-1940

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