Thursday, July 13, 2017

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The British Library: Photos and Amazing Facts to Know



Quote of the day: 

A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. -Norman Cousins


The British Library

Returning for its eleventh year, the 2017 London Literature Festival will explore how literature and poetry can remind us of our shared humanity in a world on the edge. The festival will hold from 13-29 October 2017, opening with the 50th anniversary of Poetry International. It is certainly one to check out if you are in the city and around the Southbank Centre.

Now in view of the upcoming festival here is a look at a well known and important library in Britain. The British Library is the national library of the U.K., and it is the second largest library in the world by the total number of items catalogued -over 150 million (The Library of Congress, US, has 162 million making it the largest in the world), including items such as books, maps, prints, stamps, drawings, videos, patents and more from all around the world both print and digital. The library's collection includes over 14 million books. In what is known as foundation collections, the core of the library's historical collections is based on sets of donations and major acquisitions from the 18th century.

Drawing by Sir Colin St John Wilson, 1991

The British Library has many rooms including two that were converted into the Business & IP Centre and which is said to hold arguably the most comprehensive collection of business and intellectual property (IP) material in the U.K.


Fun Facts 

1. The British Library is a legal deposit library and receives copies of all books published in the U.K and Ireland, including a proportion of overseas titles distributed in the U.K.

Entrance, British Library

2. The library has two sites, the major one in London (St.Pancras) and the other in West Yorkshire (Boston Spa). The library in West Yorkshire has over 100 km of shelving that houses collections devoted to inter-library loan.

3. The London site was opened in 1998, it was the largest U.K Public building project of the 20th Century with its design and construction taking 37 years to complete and is said to be the pinnacle of architect Sir Colin St John Wilson's career.

Item collections display, British Library

4. Ten million bricks and 180,000 tonnes of concrete were used in its construction, and mirrors the red brick exterior of nearby St Pancras Station -with the bricks coming from the same source in Leicestershire.

5. It holds 310,000 manuscript volumes - from Jane Austen to James Joyce, Handel to the Beatles. And has over 60 million patents.

Bird's eye view, British Library

6. There are over 3 million new items which are added each year, and with existing collections all of it requires over 625 km of shelves, growing by about 12 km every year.

7. The collections are spread over 14 gigantic floors -nine above ground and five below ground level, with the the basements extending to a depth of 24.5 metres.

Asian and African Studies Room, British Library

8. If you see five items each day, it would take you over 80,000 years to see the entire collection held.

British Library

9. The space outside the library includes pieces of public art, including a large sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi -a bronze statue based on William Blake's study of Isaac Newton.


More facts about the British Library can be found here.


Have you ever visited any large library in your location? And do library buildings fascinate you?

Thanks for visiting and commenting!


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Bill Evans - Waltz For Debby

44 comments:

  1. Good to see libraries still exist!

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  2. Our library is thriving. It is so good to see a library doing well these days.

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  3. This would be an excellent place to visit!

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  4. Great post! Lots of info I did not know. Smiled when I read 8. : ))

    The 3rd largest library in the world is in Ottawa - Library and Archives Canada with 54 million items.

    In Toronto, it is Toronto Reference Library - 1,653,665 catalogued items in 2010. The collection is mostly non-circulating (wikipedia)

    One of the Special collections: The Arthur Conan Doyle collection - life and works of the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

    The Toronto Public Library system is the largest in Canada. It has 100 branches all over the city.

    : )

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    1. That's great about the Toronto Public Library system, and if I am ever in Ottawa, I will be sure to check out the 3rd largest library in the world! Thanks for your informative comment, and for visiting!

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  5. Loved Libraries since early childhood !!!
    A Follower (and "online Friend), just lost her Husband today this saddens us ....

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    1. And so have I, since the earliest times.
      So sorry to hear about your follower's loss, and I do wish her great strength for today and always.

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  6. Oh wow! This is absolutely amazing. I've never even heard of this library. What a fabulous place to visit.

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  7. Wow for Point No. 8!!! Truly amazing...

    Thanks for sharing this very informative post!

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  8. Hi Blogoratti - I was lucky enough to have a tour but before I started blogging - so was unsure what to expect ... I think I need to see if another can be arranged, by a near-relative who used to work there. Sometime! It's an amazing building - they do really good exhibitions and I went to a Tolkein talk a while ago ... When the film "The Hobbit" came out ... 2012.

    I love the red brick ... and thanks for all the extra info ... I'll be writing up on the Bodleian and its new Weston Library 'extension' ... as I visited there recently too ...

    Love the libraries ... especially the iconic ones ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hello Hilary, wow a grand tour that must have been. Yes indeed, it is an amazing work of art, the exterior is magical to see. You are right about their exhibitions, there's nothing like it.

      You are welcome and I look forward to your write-up on the new Library extension. And thank you for visiting and commenting!

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  9. Hi, my Mom was a librarian ..now retired. I've always loved reading. & would enjoy the history of the building and all that jazz. so cool! ( ;

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  10. I went there many years ago on a trip to London. My family thought I was nuts wanting to go, but they really enjoyed seeing all those wonderful manuscripts and papers in the museum. It was really cool. Thanks for sharing this info and for sending me on a trip down memory lane. erika

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  11. Amazing post! I love books and I visited this library few years ago. I will visit again when my baby will grow a bit more. We love exploring London :) Wishing you a great day! Liuba :)

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  12. What an awesome place! Our small town library is in an old train depot and consists of two small rooms - they will get anything you want though through the lending libraries.

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  13. Such an impressive place! I work near the state library of Berlin... maybe I'll have to sneak in one ofth ese days.

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  14. I love to visit libraries. One of the first ones I went to as a child was in an old home from the 1920's. Today's libraries are almost like museums, they are so vast.

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  15. I can't believe I've never visited the British Library! LOVE libraries -- cam real close to becoming a librarian when I was just out of college. Fun read -- thanks.

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  16. Thanks for sharing this beautiful place!

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  17. That would sure be a fun spot to go. Maybe not for 80,000 years though lol

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  18. Wow, that's a nice post about the library.
    Greetings.

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  19. The British Library sounds awesome! wow, I didn't know it was the second largest library in the world. My daughter would love to browse through this grand building. Yes, libraries fascinate me. I haven't been to one in awhile, but I do stop at Barnes and Noble, which has a nice selection of children's books, which are my favorite. : )

    ~Sheri

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  20. I love visiting libraries :) I often get jealous too when going into one ;)

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  21. Impressive. Happy Wednesday!

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  22. That is an incredible amount of books. I don't think I can manage the 5 a day to read them all in 80,000 years.
    I'm headed to the Library of Congress on a trip from here later this month.

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    1. Hi Marcia,
      I do feel you on that 5 a day talk, ha. I'd like to see your Library of Congress photos if you do end up going. Thanks for visiting and warm greetings!

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  23. That is really amazing, it's impressive the large amount of materials housed here.

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  24. One of my favourite places to sit, drink cofee and relax, i love the small walled garden

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  25. A truly awesome place! I love books so much, I'm afraid I'd go in and never come out. LOL!
    Blessings!

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  26. How I wish I could attend the literature festival. I've seen some great libraries at universities.

    Love,
    Janie

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  27. Interesting post! thanks for sharing!

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  28. This is impressive. Thank you for showing us around.

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  29. The British Library, a splendid place. Now then, if only this awful government would stop shutting local libraries, a vital resource.

    Thank you.

    Gary

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  30. Oh, beautiful library!!
    I used to go to a library, now I have long time in my office with a computer...
    It is not good, so I would love to enjoy a library again!

    akiko
    www.akikohiramatsu.com

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  31. What a magnificent building.

    Libraries are all wonderful, big and small :)

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  32. Yes, libraries fascinate me. The bigger the better. :)
    Lovely!

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  33. The "delivery room for the birth of ideas" what a beautiful expression, and so apt! I find libraries to be very undervalued and underused in this country, bar universities of course. I think I shall have to come visit yours *smiles* Books are my life

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  34. ...and it's an exciting place.

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  35. that sounds like a lot of reading to be had. fun! ( ;

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  36. A library is my favorite place to visit and often I am at the public library here in Nashua, NH, 2-3 days a week and luckily it is within walking distance of our apt. On many of our road trips we have stopped at libraries and have seen some very unusual and interesting ones. My favorite has been the NYC Public library in which I could easily spend days. The Library of Congress is a beautiful structure. After reading this post, I have to add the London library on my "to see" list. Thanks for the information, Mr. B.

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