Exploring London: British Library

19:48 Alyson Tart 2 Comments

Call me a nerd or the daughter of a librarian, I've always loved libraries. Even now in the age of e-books, I love to have a book in my hands as I curl up in a chair and read.

Yet somehow, after a year and a half in London, I haven't yet made it to the British library. My mom visited when they were in town last year and raved about it, so after a Sunday brunch in London, we decided to venture over to the library.

Our main reason for visiting was the Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Library. It has all kinds of things to see. Everything from original copies of the Magna Carta & the Gutenberg Bible, to the Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare and Beowulf, to Leonardo da Vinci's sketches, to the Beatles.  So all in all, a little bit of everything. It is an amazing collection.  

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The room didn't just focus on English history, there were important copies of the bible from around the world, copies of the Qu'ran and maps. More than 200 works in the gallery, most of then hundreds of years old and some even older.

We wandered among the books, reading descriptions and in some cases trying to decipher what the books actually said. Many the authors handwriting was difficult to decipher and others, even 500 years old, were able to be read. An amazing thing to be able to read it and a lesson on why kids should be still taught cursive so they can read it 500 years from now (although that's a rant for another day).

All in all, worth a visit for anyone especially since it's so conveniently located near St. Pancras. You can wander past the beautiful buildings of the train station before going in the not so pretty library. But, as they say, don't judge a book by it's cover - you'll be amazed by what is found inside!

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  1. I love going to the library! Have never been to the British Library, but it sounds impressive. Will have to check it out next time I'm in London.

    1. Catherine - definitely worth a stop and it's right in the middle of it all! We were there about an hour but I think you could make it shorter or longer to fit your itinerary.