British Library

People using the British Library


The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries.

There are over 150 million items in the collections, everything from manuscripts to maps, newspapers to sounds, stamps to websites. Treasures range from the Magna Carta to the first edition of The Times from 1788, to the recording of Nelson Mandela’s Rivonia trial speech. The collections cover every written and spoken language.

Every day thousands of people use the collections online and in the flagship building in London: researchers in academia, business and the creative industries, as well as learners of all ages, from across the world. The popular programme of events and exhibitions brings the collections to life, and makes the Library a lively hub for learning and debate.

Start exploring the collections at