A copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland is sent to The British Library – an institute that has amassed a collection of more than 150 million items and adds some 3 million new items each year. The public can apply for access to the reading rooms, or simply explore the permanent and temporary exhibits in the John Ritblat Gallery. Here, some of the most famous written and printed items in the world are displayed, and you might see the Lindisfarne Gospels, Shakespeare’s first Folio, Handel’s Messiah, the Gutenberg Bible, drafts of the Magna Carta and the Beatles’ manuscripts.
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|Venue name:||British Library|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 9.30am-8pm; Fri 9.30am-6pm; Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm|
|Transport:||Tube: King’s Cross/Euston Rail: St Pancras International/King’s Cross/Euston|
|Price:||Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions|
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Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms review
There’s a part of you that wonders if the British Library has designed this entire exhibition as an ‘up yours’ to Brexit. Because the first thing you see, as you walk around this heady exploration of Anglo-Saxon treasures and literature, is an explanation...Until Tuesday February 19 2019
Cats on the Page review
Confession: I’m a dog person. So it’s not partisanship at work when I say the British Library are the cats who scored the exhibition cream with this free display of the best of felines in literature. That’s right: cats in books. It’s easy to overthink...Until Sunday March 17 2019
Harold Pinter: A Line, A Word, An Image
The British Library is home to the Harold Pinter Archive, which it puts to good use with this small, free display coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the playwright and actor's death. Writings, manuscripts and photos hint at the inspiration behind...Until Sunday March 17 2019
The New Londoners
The UN estimates that people from almost 200 different countries currently live in London. Photographer Chris Steele-Perkins set out to photograph people from every one of those places and a selection of the resulting images are now being shown at the...Friday March 22 2019 - Sunday July 7 2019
Artist and researcher Michael Takeo Magruder has used a combination of old and new technologies to dramatically remix images contained in the British Library's map collection. The result is a series of stunning imaginary cities made using metal gilding,...Friday April 5 2019 - Sunday July 14 2019
Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion
Marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death, the British Library shows a selection of the Renaissance polymath's finest works relating to the concept of motion. Along with Leonardo's meticulous scientific studies, the show will also contain...Friday June 7 2019 - Sunday September 8 2019
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:19
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Inspiring permanent gallery with priceless artefacts like an original Magna Carta and one off exhibitions on interesting subjects, like animals in books. Love it here, keep going back for more. Plus you can read your own books if you like!
A shining light of modern learning that manages to feel fresh and relevant without taking away any of the gravitas of what lies within. Great free exhibitions and work space.
So much great stuff! As well as 150 million (150 million!) items, fantastic and varied range of events and exhibitions. I get more from it every time!
The BL is so much more than the national Library - so many interesting free events, exhibitions and lovely nooks to explore. I love spending my free moments day dreaming about the great minds that have passed through here and what traces of thoughts they have left behind. Also the best public 'facilities' in town.
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