More than a massive repository for books, the British Library also holds significant artifacts and documents, such as the Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, and an original Beatles lyrics sheet. Each year, the world's largest library adds three million new items, requiring some 9.6 km (6.0 mi) of shelf space. You obviously won't see everything on your visit, so take a guided tour to view the most important collections and learn about the building's history and architecture. The Philatelic Exhibition holds some of the world's rarest and most significant stamps; check its schedule for temporary exhibits. If you want to learn more before your visit, download podcasts from the library's website. You can also listen to presentations from past events. Use our London trip planner to add British Library and other attractions to your London vacation plans.
British Library reviews
In my opinion, easily the best museum in London. The exhibits hold a wealth of treasures and really capture the imagination. It's also pleasant to not have the the overwhelming stench of colonialism..... more »
The Treasures exhibit at the British Library is free, and it's astounding what's in the collection. My companion was super skeptical but it ended up as one of our favorite attractions. The items on.... more »
I love this place, so many rare and ancient books and the sheer sense of history combined with the modern feel that it now has since the refurbishment. Having said that I think it wasn't fully thought out, there aren't enough seats or tables and most are spread out so not the best use of space. Also would have been nice to see more facilities available for modern gadgets so, power supply points etc. All in all, it's a good place to visit of not do serious work.
I really needed a quiet place to sit down and get some work done. The British library is the perfect place to do that. There's also a cafe and restaurant here which makes everything more convenient. I love coming here.
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