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“Treasures worth the trip alone”
Review of British Library

British Library
Ranked #81 of 1,828 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Open to all visitors seven-days-a-week, this superb building by Sir Colin St John Wilson offers events, special exhibitions and a Treasures Gallery that displays over 200 items, including Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible and lyrics by the Beatles.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Most visitors will be happy to see the treasures of the library; these are worth browsing for an hour or two and contain both historical treasures and books of beauty, such as illustrated religious scriptures of many faiths.
If you want to view a particular book beware that you need a reading pass which will require proof of identity and is only issued for short term reading rights, so do not expect to be be able to walk in and read a book as you would in a library in the usual sense we expect in this country. I wanted to see a local historic map of my town but was not armed with enough evidence of identity to do that on the visit, but seeing the treasures made up for the small appointment.
Also note that the "restaurant" is more of a cafe than a restaurant so while you can eat it is not a pleasure, although some of the seating is outside and on a nice day it is a pleasant place to have a cake and coffee.

2  Thank MootHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"magna carta"
in 755 reviews
"gutenberg bible"
in 135 reviews
"historical documents"
in 101 reviews
"treasures room"
in 99 reviews
"alice in wonderland"
in 84 reviews
"beatles lyrics"
in 77 reviews
"jane austen"
in 68 reviews
"on display"
in 204 reviews
"the sir john ritblat gallery"
in 59 reviews
"lindisfarne gospels"
in 45 reviews
"book lovers"
in 43 reviews
"illuminated manuscripts"
in 42 reviews
"love books"
in 41 reviews
"treasures gallery"
in 37 reviews
"harry potter exhibition"
in 35 reviews
"handel's messiah"
in 33 reviews
"musical scores"
in 28 reviews
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2,158 - 2,162 of 3,409 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2014

This is a must see in London, in my opinion. It was free! And I got to see so many cool, old documents. The old sacred texts/bibles were absolutely beautiful, and I loved seeing the Jane Austen manuscripts, and Beethoven and Bach's handwritten music. I wish I had spent more time there. But also you can browse through really quick and still see some cool things!

1  Thank Leslie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I like to visit libraries in different countries. This one did not disappoint. I was in awe of the wonderful diversity of the items. Of course you expect to see the Magna Carta but there are so many other wonderful places to see. When I visited, they had an excellent exhibit on how propaganda is used by nations in wartime. Fascinating and worth the few extra pounds. This visit will not take long...I was there about two hours. Still, take the time to stop.

Great book shop! Are you surprised?

Thank Paseando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Did not initially intend to visit the British library, but was walking from Regent's Park to King's Cross Station and had a bit of time to spare, so decided to check it out. Did not regret it. Spent at least half an hour wandering around the Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Library Gallery, where various historical documents, most famously the Magna Carta, are kept. Was especially fascinated by some documents belonging to Elizabeth I, with her own handwriting! Would definitely recommend a visit.

Thank wzhkevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 July 2014

Most of the historically significant items, such as the Magna Carta, the original Beatles song manuscripts and other treasures are located in one large room. You can see it in about a half hour, if the lines aren't too long. Also, gaze up at the massive King George III library in a giant glass tower in the middle of the building. Conveniently located next to St. Pancras International Station, if you are coming in on the Eurostar from Paris

2  Thank FootlooseHoosier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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