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The British Library

Forecourt outside the British Library

Forecourt outside the British Library

The British Library is relatively new to the National Library scene, it has only been around since 1973 however, and it is one of the most amazing libraries in the world and contains collections that are truly magnificent. It also has a document supply service that delivers documents all over the world.

What The British Library Has To Offer And Things To See

The British Library is definitely a place to visit if you are in that part of the UK. The British Library receives a copy of every publication that is produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The library’s collection includes over 150 million works, spanning most of the world’s known languages.

Gateway to the British Library

Gateway to the British Library

Every year the library brings in an additional 3 million items to add to its collection.

The British Library is not just a repository of books. They also house everything from manuscripts and maps to newspapers, magazines, artwork, music scores and even patents.

The British Library also contains a sound archive, which has everything from 19th century cylinders to the latest release on CD. There is also an extensive philatelic collection along with a collection of 8 million stamps.

Collections at the British Library include documents such as the Magna Carta, Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Notebook, the first edition of the Times dated the 18th of March in 1788 among other items of historical value. The Library even houses manuscripts of works from a variety of artists and writers spanning hundreds of years.

Exterior of the British Library

Exterior of the British Library

The British Library is also host to a number of exhibitions. Some of these exhibitions are on display all the time and some rotate similarly to museum exhibits. Check with the library to see what exhibits are on display when you are planning on visiting. Most of the information is available online at the library’s website. You can sign up fro a newsletter that can keep you up to date on what the library has to offer.

The library even offers some of its oldest documents in digital format, allowing these old works some dating back to the 1500′s to be viewed without risk to the document itself. These documents are displayed in their native languages and conditions and are made freely available on the library website. Looking for a particular document, the library website comes with an extensive search function.

It is important to note that while the library may be open to anyone, the reading rooms and access to the collections not on display are limited to those with a reader’s pass. Please check with the library website if you are interested in a reader’s pass when you visit as application requirements are subject to change.

British Library Forecourt

British Library Forecourt

The library offers a document service. You can easily search for the items that you need including newspapers and journals and simply request a copy of the document. There is a fee and the library offers accounts as well as per item basis options.

There British Library has an online shop, research service to help you by supplying the requested source material, and a bookshop focusing on the history and making of books.

The library publishes under its own imprint. There are natural preservation services, resources for teachers, imaging services including digital services, microfilming, copying and photographic. You can also access and download or view thousands of images from the image database either on site or on the web.

The British Library has three locations St. Pancras, Colindale and Boston Spa. Check with each location regarding opening times and closures as these may vary depending on the location you are looking at visiting.

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