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“Around the corner from St. Pancras” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of British Library

British Library
Book In Advance
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US$123.07*
and up
Private Custom Tour: London in a Day
Ranked #44 of 1,570 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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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, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Stairs / lift
Warrington, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Around the corner from St. Pancras”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

Wanted to see the Magna Carta. However, the entire library was quite impressive. They had a display of memorabilia observing the 100 anniversary of World War I. I was impressed!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Hong Kong, China
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5,332 reviews
3,420 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11,320 helpful votes
“Sir John Ritblat Gallery at British Library is world class!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

At the British Library, amongst other things, you can see what is perhaps the greatest collection of English historic writings, manuscripts, letters and other texts found anywhere at the Sir John Ritblat Gallery (free to visit). This is a sensational place to visit and one of our personal favourite individual attractions in London.

We returned for another visit this summer and spent another 90 minutes browsing through the English language treasures on display at the Sir John Ritblat Gallery, enjoying the original works of Shakespeare, the Beetles, seeing the Gutenberg Bible, surviving copies of the Magna Carta as well as letters written by historic Royal family and other historical figures.

The collection had rotated a bit since our last visit back in December, but the highlights of the collection were more or less the same. Unfortunately, you can't take photography in this particularly gallery, unlike you can in other areas of the British Library.

One of the benefits of visiting the British Library during the warmer summer months is that you can enjoy the outside cafe, 'The Last Word' espresso bar, which serves up nice coffee drinks and light bites to eat, to be enjoyed before or after visits to the British Library.

Visited June 2014
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4 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Important to have one - lets digitise it!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

We only had a short time to explore so used an audio tour to make the most of our visit and see the highlights.

Whilst recognising this is an important way to preserve our cultural heritage, for me some of the best bits were interactive screens and audio that you could use to browse the books, manuscripts and music scores yourself - for elements that had been digitised.

It was still quite hard work in comparison to a museum, much more cerebral as even with the help of the audio tour giving us reasons why artefacts were significant documents. Nothing like as approachable as admiring the Elgin marbles, or an Egyptian Mummy in the British Museum, say.

I couldn't help thinking whilst it was very necessary and I valued Britain having such a storage facility for the best examples of religious texts, Magna Carta and literature - we should encourage and invest in speeding up the process of digitisation of it all, and make it available to every citizen without the need to travel to London to see selected elements in person.

Visited June 2014
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Thank CB001_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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80 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Library and museum in one”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

I went in to see the books there, but I actually saw much more than that. I wasn't expecting seeing so much historical documents. I loved seeing those documents.

Visited June 2014
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Thank amethystloucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hickory, North Carolina
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent Visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

We visited during what I thought would be a very busy time but the Library was not crowded. We had time to stop and look at the exhibits without being pressured to move along. We especially enjoyed the "Treasures" area. The Magna Carta, Guggenheim Bible and handwritten lyrics from Beatles songs, among others are well worth viewing.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank NurseNancy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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