The British Library

The British Library Explore the world's knowledge The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest libraries. We hold over 13 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 57 million patents and 3 million sound recordings.
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Open to everyone, the Library offers events, temporary exhibitions and a Treasures Gallery that displays over 200 items, including Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible and lyrics by The Beatles.

Operating as usual

18/03/2021

We all have a story to tell. Children’s author SF Said shares his personal story in ‘Who Am I?’ a homemade concertina book made for #StepInsideYourStory.

Throughout March we’re inviting all primary children to join our campaign to tell their own story. Here’s how: ow.ly/dbdo50E1nZq

17/03/2021

Recognised by its black head, the blackcap is also known as the ‘northern nightingale’ due to its beautiful warbling song. In contrast, its call consists of harsh ‘tacc tacc’ sounds, completely different from the flute-like melodies of its song.

🔉Recorded by Aubrey John Williams in 1983

17/03/2021

Food Season is back with a delicious series of digital events inspired by the recipes, cookbooks and culinary stories in our collection.

Get a seat at the table with Madhur Jaffrey, Raymond Blanc, Tom Kerridge and Ruby Tandoh. We’ll be tucking into the role of food in crime fiction, the history of cheese in the UK and Caribbean cooking. And that’s just a starter!

Food Season is supported by @KitchenAid. To celebrate, we’re giving you the chance to win a stylish set of cordless KitchenAid appliances, cookery class and a signed copy of Calum Franklin’s new book, The Pie Room.

Buy your tickets and enter the competition 🍴 #BLFoodSeason 🔗 http://ow.ly/Yl5S50E0mYA

The constellation of Saptarishi or the Seven Sages, otherwise known as Ursa Major are represented in this watercolour dr...
16/03/2021

The constellation of Saptarishi or the Seven Sages, otherwise known as Ursa Major are represented in this watercolour drawing. The seven ‘rishis’ are seated around one side of a circle of sky, on the other side are clouds revealing stars and a crescent moon #IndianAstronomy #Constellations

🎨Drawing with watercolour on paper, attributed to Sital Das, 1780-1782
📑Johnson 5, 23

In this beautiful Javanese manuscript of Serat Selarasa, dated 1804, Prince Selarasa kneels before a holy man, Kiai Nur ...
15/03/2021

In this beautiful Javanese manuscript of Serat Selarasa, dated 1804, Prince Selarasa kneels before a holy man, Kiai Nur Sayid, who has stayed in one place for so long, neither eating nor drinking but smelling flowers and praying to God, that a vine has grown up around his body. #ManuscriptMonday

🔗ow.ly/9kkg50DXvpU
📜MSS Jav 28, f. 8r

Have a restful day, mums. #HappyMothersDay 📜 Royal MS 15 E VI, ff 273r-292v
14/03/2021

Have a restful day, mums.

#HappyMothersDay

📜 Royal MS 15 E VI, ff 273r-292v

12/03/2021

Keeping your head above water. The art of swimming was crucial in medieval times. So many lives were lost to drowning because people could not swim or float – and also because woollen clothes were so heavy, which made it harder to swim in water. 🏊

Shelfmark: General Reference Collection C.194.a.833
📗 A short introduction for to learne to swimme.

#Didyouknow that honey bees have more than 10,000 bristles on their tongues to lap nectar? Using microphotography, you c...
12/03/2021

#Didyouknow that honey bees have more than 10,000 bristles on their tongues to lap nectar? Using microphotography, you can see an early print of a bee's tongue taken around 1860. 📷🐝 #PhotoFriday

Published in 'The Wonders of the Microscope Photographically Revealed by Means of Olley's Patent Micro-Photographic Reflecting Process'.

📘 Shelfmark: 7004.c.24

'The love, respect and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts.' –Louisa May Al...
11/03/2021

'The love, respect and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts.' –Louisa May Alcott, Little Women.

And what better gift for the special person who read to you and ignited your love for books than adopting a title from our collection? #MothersDay

Discover our range of beloved classics, including #LittleWomen.
Adopt a book today: ow.ly/gKWY50DW77g

In July 2020 the British Library committed to create and deliver an anti-racism action plan. Read our blog to find out h...
10/03/2021

In July 2020 the British Library committed to create and deliver an anti-racism action plan. Read our blog to find out how we are putting this into practice: http://ow.ly/jJ3F50DV2Vi

10/03/2021

The chaffinch is one of the most widespread and abundant birds in Britain. The males have a slate-blue crown and neck, chestnut back, and pinkish underparts. They pair up with the plainer-coloured females in late winter and their song can be heard in early spring. #WildlifeWednesday

🔉Recorded by Lawrence Shove, 1965

Join us for the Natural Word, our spring season of events exploring writing on nature and our relationship with the worl...
09/03/2021

Join us for the Natural Word, our spring season of events exploring writing on nature and our relationship with the world around us. Guests include @BillBailey @ChrisGPackham and @DrSuzanneSimard 🍃 🐛

Find out more: 🔗http://ow.ly/LsVp50DTbNA

In the 1770s, artists from Lucknow experimented with spatial recession and viewpoints as the genre of architectural draw...
09/03/2021

In the 1770s, artists from Lucknow experimented with spatial recession and viewpoints as the genre of architectural drawings emerged.

This watercolour view of Shahjahanabad (now Old Delhi) shows the city-palace complex as a neat rectangle instead of the oblong structure it is. #VisualArtTuesdays

Find out more here: 🔗ow.ly/JFOY50DT7E2

🎨Gouache painting of the Red Fort, Delhi (1785)
📑Add Or 948

This International Women's Day we're celebrating women's achievements, whether big or small. Meet some of the ground-bre...
08/03/2021

This International Women's Day we're celebrating women's achievements, whether big or small. Meet some of the ground-breaking women featured in our #UnfinishedBusiness exhibition ⬇️ and tell us something big or small that you're proud of #IWD2021

This late 18th-century Javanese manuscript of Serat Damar Wulan depicts Prince Damar Wulan being prepared for his weddin...
08/03/2021

This late 18th-century Javanese manuscript of Serat Damar Wulan depicts Prince Damar Wulan being prepared for his wedding day. #ManuscriptMonday

🔗ow.ly/crda50DRd9L
📜MSS Jav 89, f. 134v

The Jamaican poet James Berry came to Britain on the SS Orbita in 1948 and he published his poetical collection Windrush...
05/03/2021

The Jamaican poet James Berry came to Britain on the SS Orbita in 1948 and he published his poetical collection Windrush Songs in 2007. His experiences of migration alongside the voices of other characters feature in this collection.

Berry's poem, ‘Englan’ Voice’, demonstrates his ability to write ‘in voice’ using Jamaican dialect. Focussed on language, the poem negotiates the boundaries between the English spoken in the Caribbean, as a result of slavery and colonialism, and the English which the character aspires to adopt on his arrival in Britain.

Hear Berry's reading of ‘Englan’ Voice’ at: ow.ly/4LWz50DQit4

Fay Godwin captured a photograph of Berry in 1985. #PhotoFriday

This #BritishScienceWeek, we look back on how science can reveal vast amounts of information on books dating back to the...
05/03/2021

This #BritishScienceWeek, we look back on how science can reveal vast amounts of information on books dating back to the eighth century. Find out how our Collection Care and Medieval Manuscripts teams used CT analysis on the St Cuthbert Gospel at http://ow.ly/Zox750DQPGO

Happy World Book Day 📚Which book drew YOU into the world of reading as a child?📖 🎨 Danny, the Champion of the World by R...
04/03/2021

Happy World Book Day 📚

Which book drew YOU into the world of reading as a child?

📖 🎨 Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Jill Bennett
📖 🎨 Winnie-The-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard
📖 🎨 Peace at Last written & illustrated by Jill Murphy
📖 🎨 The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

03/03/2021

This vibrant bird is Britain's largest woodpecker. It is distinctive in many ways, from its characteristic call and the prominent red crown on its head to its undulating flight pattern. The green woodpecker is spotted mostly on the ground, searching for its favoured quarry: ants. #WildlifeWednesday #WorldWildlifeDay

🔉Recorded by Lawrence Shove
🎨Digital Store 990.i.5

Double negatives were the nemesis of 18th-century grammarian Robert Lowth.We on the other hand, ain’t never seen no reas...
03/03/2021

Double negatives were the nemesis of 18th-century grammarian Robert Lowth.

We on the other hand, ain’t never seen no reason why we shouldn’t use double (or quadruple) negatives for #NationalGrammarDay tomorrow. Can you beat a quadruple?

Alternatively, to learn how to speak proper, check out Lowth's grammar book from 1762: 📜ow.ly/y3p250DNUko

Eldest daughter of the Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658), Jahanara Begum was an influential political fi...
02/03/2021

Eldest daughter of the Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658), Jahanara Begum was an influential political figure and received the title Sahibat al-Zaman (‘Mistress of the Age’) in 1631.

In 1644, she was given the port of Surat, and she owned her own ship, the Sahibi, which transported cargo and pilgrims between Surat and Mecca. She also commissioned the construction of the famous Jamiʻ Masjid in Agra. #Mughals #WomenInHistory #WomensHistoryMonth

Read more: 🔗ow.ly/dyDc50DMTnb

Folio from The Dara Shikoh Album, c.1635
Add Or 3129, f. 25v

02/03/2021

In our latest edition of #CuratorsOnCamera learn about #SylviaPankhurst's protest poetry. Penned from jail on the only paper available - toilet paper - and now on display in our #UnfinishedBusiness exhibition. These drafts later contributed to her campaign for prison reform.

Discover more stories of creativity and protest in our Women’s Rights web space: http://ow.ly/ZOUs50DP2WA

This Golden Letter, written in Malay in 1856, from the ruler of Johor, Temenggung Ibrahim, to Emperor Napoleon III of Fr...
01/03/2021

This Golden Letter, written in Malay in 1856, from the ruler of Johor, Temenggung Ibrahim, to Emperor Napoleon III of France, is a triumph of style over substance, full of friendly words without promising anything else. #ManuscriptMonday

View here: ow.ly/k3s450DJNQ2
📑Or 16126

Step inside your story! We’re asking children across the UK to make concertina books and fill them with tales about them...
01/03/2021

Step inside your story! We’re asking children across the UK to make concertina books and fill them with tales about themselves. After all, anyone can be an author or the star of a story.⁣

Watch new films by your favourite authors and illustrators, and add your book to our library of All Our Stories by sharing your creations using #DiscoveringChildrensBooks #StepInsideYourStory. ⁣

Find out more here: 🔗ow.ly/JTu150DIVNj

Concertina book one © Mara Menzies
Concertina book two © Viviane Schwarz
Concertina book three © Allen Fatimaharan and Sandra Agard
Concertina book four © Jane Porter

26/02/2021

‘Our fully illustrated and now digitised Javanese manuscript of the adventures of Prince Damar Wulan (MSS Jav 89) is full of lovely vignettes of everyday life on the north coast of Java in the late 18th century.’ – Annabel Gallop, Lead Curator for Southeast Asia. ⁣

Take a look here 🔗http://ow.ly/EMjo50DIWUb

26/02/2021

Menstrual equity and reproductive justice are unfinished business. Join Bloody Good Period Founder and CEO Gabby Edlin and LSE Library’s Education and Outreach Officer Dr Debbie Challis as they discuss glittery tampons, IVF and forced sterilisation in this NEW video from inside our Unfinished Business exhibition. Watch here: 🔗ow.ly/qEQC50DKFhv

From smashed scales to fireworks, each object in our Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights exhibition has a different story to tell. When planning the exhibition, Debbie and Gabby were two amongst a whole host of experts and activists we worked with to ensure the voices of the women behind each object were represented in a way that honoured their unique histories.

The ‘Glampon’ was created by artist Sam Dawood for Bloody Good Period.

#Didyouknow that the British Library holds the archive of the photographer Fay Godwin, known for her series of portraits...
26/02/2021

#Didyouknow that the British Library holds the archive of the photographer Fay Godwin, known for her series of portraits of great literary figures? Godwin photographed the poet and novelist Jean Rhys in 1974.

Here is Rhys standing in an interior doorway, with her hands placed on either side of the door. Rhys was born on the Caribbean island of Dominica and moved to England when she was 16. She wrote the novel Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966.

#JeanRhys #PhotoFriday

Don your best costumes! Tonight begins #Purim, the carnival festival which celebrates the saving of the Jewish people fr...
25/02/2021

Don your best costumes! Tonight begins #Purim, the carnival festival which celebrates the saving of the Jewish people from the villain Haman in the Persian Empire.

Here we see the hero of the story Esther, with King Ahasuerus from a 13/14th-century French Hebrew Miscellany.
Find out more: 🔗ow.ly/g21s50DJH9a

📜 Add MS 11639, f.260v

We're counting down the days to reopening our doors. In line with government guidance, we intend to reopen our Reading R...
25/02/2021
We're counting down the days

We're counting down the days to reopening our doors.

In line with government guidance, we intend to reopen our Reading Rooms as soon as we can safely do so after 12 April and our galleries after 17 May, and we’ll let you know more soon.

We can't wait to welcome everyone back, and until then we're always open online: http://ow.ly/O7LB50DJS3s

Following the announcement of the government’s plans to ease lockdown, we’re carefully planning a return to our public spaces that keeps everyone safe.

Tonight you can take a seat at a digital dinner table for an evening of poetry, conversation and film inspired by our ex...
25/02/2021

Tonight you can take a seat at a digital dinner table for an evening of poetry, conversation and film inspired by our exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War. Expect recipes, riddles and rhymes.

FREE, hosted with Poet in the City and Sheffield Libraries. Book here: ow.ly/lk1F50DIy7j

24/02/2021

The sand martins are coming to Britain: They begin arriving from their African wintering grounds in March and are recognisable by their twittering call.⁣

Their sharply turning flight paths allow them to catch invertebrates whilst in the air. ⁣#WildlifeWednesday

🔊 1960s recording by Lawrence Shove⁣⁣

A beautiful marginal ornament in a Qur'an manuscript from Aceh, Indonesia, marking the start of the 9th juz' or 30th par...
22/02/2021

A beautiful marginal ornament in a Qur'an manuscript from Aceh, Indonesia, marking the start of the 9th juz' or 30th part. Without page numbers, graphic devices like these functioned as bookmarks for readers of the manuscript.

🔗http://ow.ly/29Uc50DEUVd
📜Or 16915, f. 71v

21/02/2021

Some things simply don’t mix: #WeetabixAndBeans; Grandmas and toads; heaven and bagpipes: which idiom are you using this #InternationalMotherLanguageDay?

More of our favourites here: http://ow.ly/33BS50DEOsD

#Didyouknow that the first book illustrated with photographic prints was produced by a woman? Anna Atkins produced 'Phot...
19/02/2021

#Didyouknow that the first book illustrated with photographic prints was produced by a woman? Anna Atkins produced 'Photographs of British algae' in 1843 using cyanotype impressions.

Here we have her print 'Dictyota dichotoma, on the young state and in fruit.' #WomeninScience #PhotoFriday

17/02/2021

The blue tit is one of our best loved British birds and is a very common visitor to gardens and bird tables. Can you hear its trill in your garden? #WildlifeWednesday

🔊 1960s recording in woodlands by Lawrence Shove
🎨 Shelfmark: Royal 3 D. VI, f. 116

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