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The British Library, London

4.5
#13 of 165 in Museums in London
More than a massive repository for books, the 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. See The British Library and all London has to offer by arranging your trip with our London vacation trip planner.
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Reviews
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3,008 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    I went in because I think about libraries and already at the entrance, I was happy. Nicely built with old books visible through the glass window. It's an interesting exhibition part with old documents of various kinds, ranging from legal texts to music, the Beatles has its own booth! Well worth a visit, shorter or longer based on interest. Free entry and a nice shop.
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  • August 20, 2017
    If you're in London and you're a history fan, you've got to stop in the British Library's manuscripts room to check out one of the Magna Cartas. While in the Library, just marvel at the shear size!  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    The British Library is the National Library of the United Kingdom and is home to the Sir John Ritblat Gallery, where you can discover some of the most exciting and significant treasures of the world, including the Magna Carta, the First Folio of Shakespeare and the Codex Sinaiticus. There is also the manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll, the Beatles lyrics handwritten by John Lennon, and drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. The British Library is one of the world's largest research institutions and invites you to embark on a fascinating journey through the history of the written word. Visit it!!
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  • Amazing collection. Didn't expect to see so many valuable and historical pieces of writing. Didn't go to the special exhibition, but the permanent collection is free and worth the visit. There are free lockers (pay £1 but you get it back) that saved our life before a trip. They even have space for suitcases for the same "price"
  • One of the largest book collections in the world. There is also collection of newspapers, pictures, manuscripts, audio material, and academic papers. Been a member for decades and it just gets better. There is also a very good business and intellectual property section with all the main business databases, books and periodicals. I really enjoy the business events, some of which are free. The restaurant and cafe serve a wide variety of snacks and meals. It's easy to walk from either Kings X or Euston or St Pancras Stations and lots of buses stop right outside. My only complaint is that the library attracts so many visitors it gets a bit crowed. Otherwise it's the perfect learning and events space.
  • I study literally everywhere: coffee shop, tube, park, bed, etc. I am an online student. I have to do it. It feels great seeing people doing it in all the positions. Studying. BTW, it's not pricy the membership for the BL.
  • Great place to visit... We brought two groups of children to attend classes... Make a Book/Map your World... the children absolutely loved it and want to come again.
  • Having studied in lots of libraries, this is among my favourites, not only for the organised service but also the ambience. This is in many ways a fountain of knowledge and fantastic if you are able to use it for your research.

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