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.

19/06/2020

A British summer wouldn't be complete without the unmistakable two-tone song of the male cuckoo. In flight this bird displays a long tail and pointed wings, resulting in it being often mistaken for a sparrow hawk. Its slender bill is ideal for eating insects, spiders, worms and centipedes. The cuckoo arrives from Africa in early spring and usually leaves in August.

Sound Archive recording: W1CDR0001375, 1960s
Illustration from The British Zoology by T.Pennant, 1766

18/06/2020
Rachael Culley- Edgar Allan Poe Social and Subs V2.mp4

'With Poe’s short stories you can escape from the real world for just a few pages as he develops the genres of science fiction, detective fiction and the #Gothic.'

Not up to reading giant tomes right now? Our latest #CuratorsOnCamera from one of our curators for North American Published Collections explores Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection of short stories by Boston-born author, Edgar Allan Poe. For more on Poe and the Gothic, visit the Library's #DiscoveringLiterature website: http://ow.ly/ffUN50zLHMx

This episode was filmed from our homes so you can enjoy #MuseumFromHome BBC Arts

15/06/2020
What is Magna Carta?

Agreed #onthisday in 1215, how did #MagnaCarta become such a powerful symbol of our rights and freedoms? Let Terry Jones take you back to medieval times when England was ruled by Bad King John, to tell you more: http://ow.ly/Yzey50zThsd

Signed, sealed and kind of delivered #onthisday in 1215, here's one of the four surviving copies of #MagnaCarta.Where di...
15/06/2020

Signed, sealed and kind of delivered #onthisday in 1215, here's one of the four surviving copies of #MagnaCarta.

Where did King John sign Magna Carta? For how long was the original document valid? How many clauses remain in law today? How well do you know Magna Carta? Test your knowledge and take a quiz with our latest Medieval Manuscripts blog: http://ow.ly/RvzB50A7Bmm

12/06/2020
Victorian steam train

All aboard! Locomotives, hissing of steam, luggage trolleys... Be transported to a steam age railway station without leaving your home with the Sound Archive.

Recording: 1CD0126081
Image: a railway station by W. Johnston (1894-96), 14000.r.8

JLF London returns digitally this weekend. Join us live for a vibrant celebration of books, writers, ideas and creative ...
05/06/2020

JLF London returns digitally this weekend. Join us live for a vibrant celebration of books, writers, ideas and creative diversity. Speakers include the garlanded film director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Reluctant Fundamentalist); The Silk Roads author Peter Frankopan; diplomat and columnist Amish Tripathi, and Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan. http://ow.ly/CSFg50zZF8k

We stand in solidarity with everyone who opposes racism and prejudice in all its forms. We will work hard to ensure that...
02/06/2020

We stand in solidarity with everyone who opposes racism and prejudice in all its forms. We will work hard to ensure that our Library community of users, collaborators, and staff feel valued and empowered by our practices.

Libraries empower people. But great historical collections also reflect the imbalances of power bound up in their origins. We need to work to address this.

We pledge to do much more to ensure our collections, which are available to everyone, benefit everyone. Especially communities that have suffered injustice throughout history, and who continue to suffer today.

Black Lives Matter.

#BlackoutTuesday

The British Library
01/06/2020

The British Library

For #LondonHistoryDay, a city guide or a pocket map of London, Westminster and Southwark: 'with ye new buildings to ye y...
31/05/2020

For #LondonHistoryDay, a city guide or a pocket map of London, Westminster and Southwark: 'with ye new buildings to ye year 1744'. A table of fares for Hackney Coaches and Thames ferries appears at the top right and bottom centre of the map: http://ow.ly/ByyV50zTmkv

Shelfmark: Maps Crace Port.3.102.

29/05/2020

We know many of you may be missing some of your favourite pastimes at the moment, so let the Sound Archive take you to the beautiful game...

Recording: A #football match crowd, 1994, 1CD0126081
Image from The Graphic, 24 Feb 1872

Missing the Library? Take a pixelated stroll through our St Pancras site with this retro #Bitsy simulator: http://ow.ly/...
28/05/2020

Missing the Library? Take a pixelated stroll through our St Pancras site with this retro #Bitsy simulator: http://ow.ly/qOvN50zS9gB

28/05/2020

Despite the closure of our buildings, libraries have found ways to adapt, keep services open and even assist in the fight against Covid-19. The final episode of our #AnythingButSilent podcast tells the story of libraries under lockdown: http://ow.ly/6mVy50zSiGm

Our gates may be shut but our virtual doors are wide open… Tour the Library from your home to learn about the design and...
27/05/2020

Our gates may be shut but our virtual doors are wide open…

Tour the Library from your home to learn about the design and architecture of our St Pancras building, the artwork hidden in its nooks and crannies and what goes on behind the scenes.

Ever noticed the fossils buried in our courtyard? Or that our building resembles a ship? Take a peek inside with our new 'Explore the building' website: http://ow.ly/syqq50zR66t

#MuseumFromHome

We wish our followers #EidMubarak. The festival of #EidAlFitr falls this weekend and marks the end of #Ramadan. To celeb...
22/05/2020

We wish our followers #EidMubarak. The festival of #EidAlFitr falls this weekend and marks the end of #Ramadan. To celebrate the occasion here is an image of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina photographed in 1907 by H. A. Mirza & Sons. Take a closer look here http://ow.ly/jwyv50zNrLJ

21/05/2020

Here's the song of a tawny owl recorded at Haldon Woods, Devon. The familiar 'hooo-hoo-hooo' call is the male proclaiming his territory, and can be heard throughout the winter months.

Sound Archive recording W1CDR0001426 BD1
Image by T. Pennant, 459.g.1

Join Anita Anand live to discover the fascinating story of Sophia Duleep Singh’s life, from princess to pioneer of women...
21/05/2020

Join Anita Anand live to discover the fascinating story of Sophia Duleep Singh’s life, from princess to pioneer of women’s rights, on Tuesday 26 May, 16.00. Includes a real-time Q&A. Book your place now: http://ow.ly/EOC650zMj7U

For more on Sophia Duleep Singh, visit our #UnfinishedBusiness: The Fight for Women's Rights exhibition later this year, featuring previously unseen police surveillance files on her activism.

20/05/2020

We all need a bit of colour to brighten up the dark days. Can you make a miniature book with the things in your sunshine cupboard, like Jane Porter? Send your creations to [email protected] #DiscoveringChildrensBooks http://ow.ly/Bqia50zKpSZ

Immerse yourself in a world of playbills for theatres, fairs and gardens! New items have been added to the 'In the Spotl...
19/05/2020

Immerse yourself in a world of playbills for theatres, fairs and gardens! New items have been added to the 'In the Spotlight' #crowdsourcing project. Help make these collections easier to find for future researchers; every contribution makes a difference
http://ow.ly/C5cZ50zJl8h

18/05/2020

Have you made a miniature book yet? Viviane Schwarz’s latest creation shows that small stories can still have big hearts ❤ Send your pint-sized poems, petite picture books and more to @BL_Learning #DiscoveringChildrensBooks http://ow.ly/stit50zHeom

A look at some of the collections’ visually stunning items for #InternationalMuseumDay. This eye-catching selection is t...
18/05/2020

A look at some of the collections’ visually stunning items for #InternationalMuseumDay. This eye-catching selection is taken from 2012's Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire exhibition.

18/05/2020

Why not peruse some of the many eye-catching items in the collection for #InternationalMuseumDay?

Take some time out and get creative with our colouring book; download it, have fun and share your masterpieces with us http://ow.ly/4XPt50zG17z

15/05/2020

'There's something incredible I think about, how when we look at a map, we can transport ourselves in our imaginations to the places they show…'
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Travel without leaving your home: In our latest #CuratorsOnCamera, our Lead Curator in Antiquarian Maps, Tom Harper, talks virtual tourism and explores his favourite item in the Library’s collection, a beautiful celestial globe by map maker Thomas Tuttell.
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This episode was filmed from our homes so you can enjoy #MuseumFromHome BBC Arts

15/05/2020

Reimagine the Americas. Submissions are now open for the 2021 Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award, a £20,000 prize supporting writers in the creative stage of a new project. Apply by 31 July: http://ow.ly/NUav50zGfbl

15/05/2020

Experience the seaside from your home: visit our new website to enjoy sounds from around the coast. Part of our Sound Heritage project, in partnership with National Lottery Heritage Fund: http://ow.ly/BQUL50zFSfq

Recording: Bempton Cliffs, 1CD0091587
Illustration: A scene of Dover, G.7046

14/05/2020

Could your toy be the star of a miniature book? Take inspiration from this new small story by Jacqueline Wilson, about her furry friend Radish.

Follow our activity to make your own mini book and you could be in our miniature library: http://ow.ly/TQnI50zzDGA

Children's homemade miniature books can be shared via @BL_Learning on Twitter using the hashtag #DiscoveringChildrensBooks, or send them by email to [email protected].

#DiscoveringChildrensBooks

What happens when a radical political movement is archived? Discover the fascinating history of Gay Liberation Front UK ...
13/05/2020

What happens when a radical political movement is archived? Discover the fascinating history of Gay Liberation Front UK as it marks 50 years, told through our collections. Monday 18 May, 13.00 #InternationalMuseumDay http://ow.ly/jYIX50zEX2m

Image © Gay Liberation Front

Florence Nightingale was born #OnThisDay in 1820. Explore her letter on the benefits of clean air #InternationalNursesDa...
12/05/2020

Florence Nightingale was born #OnThisDay in 1820. Explore her letter on the benefits of clean air #InternationalNursesDay http://ow.ly/CksL50zyAZq

11/05/2020

Calling all children - we need your imagination! We’re creating a virtual library of miniature books with some of your favourite authors, and you can be a part of it. Follow our activity to make your own mini book: http://ow.ly/TQnI50zzDGA

Take inspiration from this brand new tiny tale by Axel Scheffler, all about how Fipsy the squirrel is making homeschooling fun. Children's homemade miniature books can be shared via @BL_Learning on Twitter using the hashtag #DiscoveringChildrensBooks, or send them by email to [email protected].

#DiscoveringChildrensBooks

Join us to celebrate #FlorenceNightingale’s fascinating life, career and legacy on her 200th birthday at a live panel di...
09/05/2020

Join us to celebrate #FlorenceNightingale’s fascinating life, career and legacy on her 200th birthday at a live panel discussion on Tuesday 12 May, 16.00 #InternationalNursesDay. Register in advance now: http://ow.ly/DvLG50zzAZF

Speakers include Nightingale biographer Mark Bostridge, Professor Lynn McDonald, President of the Royal College of Nursing Anne Marie Rafferty, and leading statistician David Spiegelhalter.

'Contained within the Library's collections are glimpses of a defining moment in the history of our nation.' Our latest ...
08/05/2020

'Contained within the Library's collections are glimpses of a defining moment in the history of our nation.'

Our latest blog on 'Untold Lives' commemorates #VEDay75: http://ow.ly/jRRz50zAw5u

‘She’s capable of being angry and funny at the same time which is so rare.’ To mark what would have been Angela Carter’s...
07/05/2020

‘She’s capable of being angry and funny at the same time which is so rare.’

To mark what would have been Angela Carter’s 80th birthday, listen to this recording of our 2016 panel event Angela Carter: A Celebration, in partnership with The Royal Society of Literature: http://ow.ly/WFQ650zyzZf

Delve further into the work of Angela Carter when we open our exhibition, #UnfinishedBusiness: The Fight for Women’s Rights, which features a handwritten draft of Carter's 'The Sadeian Woman', her study of female autonomy in pornography. Exhibition opens later this year.

Have you heard our podcast celebrating Enlightenment hero Mary Wollstonecraft? Listen now as guests Lady Hale, historian...
06/05/2020

Have you heard our podcast celebrating Enlightenment hero Mary Wollstonecraft?

Listen now as guests Lady Hale, historian Dan Snow, campaigner Bee Rowlatt, actor Saffron Burrows, Professor Emma Clery and musician Jade Ellins honour the foremother of feminism: http://ow.ly/h9rA50zyvzM

03/05/2020

Up with the lark this morning? To mark International Dawn Chorus Day, a worldwide celebration of nature's greatest symphony, this is the song of a skylark recorded in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
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Sound Archive recording by Alan Burbidge, W1CDR0001874
Illustration by O. Dressler,1822.c.6

#DawnChorusDay

01/05/2020
Make your own: Lift the Flap

What's inside the treasure chest? Who’s knocking at the door? Learn to make your own lift-the-flap pictures and the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild with this brand new activity from #DiscoveringChildrensBooks http://ow.ly/SBfE50zu0Pg

We wish our followers a peaceful and safe Ramadan. To mark the beginning of the Muslim month of fasting here are the ope...
24/04/2020

We wish our followers a peaceful and safe Ramadan. To mark the beginning of the Muslim month of fasting here are the opening pages of the first volume of Sultan Baybars Quran, copied in Egypt between 704-5 AH/1304-6 CE. Find out more here: http://ow.ly/CoXO50zlzLN #RamadanAtHome

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96 Euston Road
London
NW12

Opening Hours

Monday 09:30 - 18:00
Tuesday 09:30 - 20:00
Wednesday 09:30 - 18:00
Thursday 09:30 - 18:00
Friday 09:30 - 18:00
Saturday 09:30 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

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