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British Library - Underrated, a Must See

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British Library - Underrated, a Must See

In my opinion, the British Library doesn't get the raves or space it deserves (even on this forum). On our recent 10 day vacation in London, the BL was a highlight. Most visitors to London come for the history, in architecture, art, and artifacts. The BL has one of the, if not THE greatest collection of historical books and manuscrpts on public display. The artistry of the calligraphy of sacred books of all faiths and the first printing of the Gutenburg bible; famous literature, from the first edition of Chaucer, the first folio of Shakespeare, to the original, hand written version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; original musical notation from Handel's Messiah to the Beatles; historical manuscrpts like the original Magna Carta and DaVinci's notebooks, and many letters of historical import, by many famous people. The BL is truly inspirational. look at what it has to offer at www.bl.uk

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1. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

I agree with you totally. I am a librarian, so I felt compelled to visit. It was a wonderful experience. I also enjoyed having a cuppa in the cafe and exploring the gift shop.

Ottawa, ON
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2. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

rookie, everything you say is true. I would add to that the stunning way the King's Library is displayed and the wonderful architecture of the building so apposite with the high Victorian gothic of St Pancras station next door.

MT
Viborg, Denmark
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3. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

Totally agree with you on that one.

I could probaly spend my entire holiday in there just wandering around.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

Agree with the rookie (not any more - you're now way beyond rookie) and with ron w - despite being a modern building, the BL fits well with St Pancras - I think this was mentioned in the discussion of 30 St Mary Axe, too (as that building didn't quite make it in terms of fitting in). The library is well worth a visit.

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5. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

A message for MT...we were luck enough to be at the BL the second day of the new Hans Christian Andersen exhibit. Aside from the historic items, drawings and books, which were wonderful, the way the displays were presented was great. there is an article about the exhibit on the BL site.

Upminster, United...
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6. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

I worked there for 10 years while they built the dam thing. It would have been better if they had managed to keep to budget and built it as it was designed.

Interesting but useless facts:-

1 It was not designed to go on the old goods yard, but for a site in Bloomsbury. The university would not sell, so it got put next to St Pancras. That is why the "dog leg" is not straight.

2 The basements straddle the Northern Line

3 The basements were built "top down" in order to prevent the station and flats sliding into a big hole

4 Books in the basements are ordered by size. If one gets put in the wrong place by mistake, chances are they will never find it again.

San Diego...
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7. Re: British Library - Underrated, a Must See

Completely agree with you londonrookie. The Treasures are a magnificent collection. You're right - it should get more attention on this forum as well as being one of the many great places to visit in London.