See also: BL
The British Library (of the English meaning “British library literally”), also known under the Initials BL , is the National library the United Kingdom. Located at London, it is one of the most important libraries of reference of the world, with more than 150 million references, including approximately 25 million books. Charged with the Registration of copyright, the British Library receives specimens of all the works published with the the United Kingdom and in Eire, including the foreign books distributed in these countries. It also acquires other foreign books, for an annual budget of approximately 16 million books, increasing, on the whole, its collections of approximately 3 million volumes per annum. Currently directed by Lynne Brindley, it employs some: 2000 people.
History of the British LibraryThe BL is a very recent institution compared to the other national libraries: it was founded in 1973 by the British Library Act (1973). Before this date, the national library depended on the British Museum, which also accommodated the British National Bibliography (national Bibliography British) and the National Sound Archive (national Sound archives).
Its collections were dispersed a long time in various deposits of London (like Bloosmbury, Chancery Lane or Holborn) and of England (lending library of Boston Spa in Yorkshire, newspapers with Colindale, the North-West of London…). This is why a new building was designed to gather in the same place the main part of the collections. This building, located at Euston Road, beside the Station of Saint-Pancras, the north of London, opened in 1997. It is due to the architect Colin St John Wilson and constitutes, with his 110 000 m, the largest public building built in the United Kingdom during all the 20th century. One reaches it while crossing a court where throne a bronze statue of Eduardo Paolozzi (according to the study of Isaac Newton by William Blake). The sites of Colindale and Boston Spa however were preserved. The heart of the building consists of a tower of glass of three stages which contains the King' S Library (Library of the king), that is to say 65 000 volumes (printed papers form, manuscripts, plans…) joined together by the king George III between 1763 and 1820.
A great number of volumes, selected among most prestigious, are presented in permanent exposure. This Sir John Ritblat Gallery: Treasures off the British Library , whose entry is free, is open seven days over Sept. Of the temporary exhibitions, on the very varied subjects, are also organized. The last related to Elizabeth Barrett Browning or, in 2006, Benjamin Franklin.
Until a recent past, the BL wanted to be a “library of last spring”, i.e. which is addressed to readers seeking very precise and specialized information untraceable elsewhere. As in many other national libraries, this diagram largely evolved/moved. The library wishes from now on to accommodate all the people wishing to carry out a research. This policy was criticized, in particular in the case of the students who have college libraries. A million readers thus attend each year the rooms of the BL, which has approximately 1 200 sitted places.
A “business District and intellectual property” opened its doors in 2006 there. It is given for goal to help the heads of undertakings or the leaders to find the information which they need, that she is printed or diffused on other supports, to assemble and develop their activities.
Registration of copyright
A law of 1911 established the principle of the Registration of copyright for the the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic. Six libraries divide the specimens which are deposited: the British Library but also the Bodleian Library of Oxford, the University Library of Cambridge, the library of the Trinity College of Dublin and the national libraries of Scotland and of the Wales. But among them, only the BL receives a specimen of all the books, less than one month after publication: the other libraries must sometimes wait a year to receive their specimen. A new law of 2003, the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 (Law on the registration of copyright of the libraries) extends the registration of copyright to the electronic documents (CD-ROM, etc) and to certain Internet sites.
The department of the Newspapers of the British Library is located at Colindale, in the north of London. It has an about complete collection of the whole of the whole of the British newspapers and Irish since 1840, inter alia thanks to the legislation of 1869 on the Registration of copyright, which obliges to deposit with the BL a specimen of each edition. For the daily newspapers and the weekly magazines of the town of London, the collections are exhaustive until in 1801. On the whole, the collections consist of 660 000 volumes connected and 370 000 microfilms, is ten million newspapers belonging to 52 000 titles, out of 45 kilometers linear of racks.
One finds inter alia in Saint-Pancras the Thomason leaflets , including/understanding 7 200 newspapers of the 17th century and the Burney collection, with newspapers of the end of.
Large collector's items
- the Stein collection, coming from Central Asia.
- Sūtra of the Diamond, which seems to be the printed book oldest in the world
- the Évangiles of Lindisfarne
- Two bibles of Gutenberg
- Two copies of 1215 of the Magna carta
- the single manuscript of the poem Beowulf
- 347 pages of the Codex Sinaiticus
- the Planisphère of Contarini, first printed chart containing the Nouveau World
- Of handwritten works of Jean-Sebastien Bach, W.A. Mozart, Gustav Mahler, Benjamin Britten, etc
- Of manuscripts of Léonard de Vinci
The stamps preserved at the British Library constitute the philatelic collection national the United Kingdom. They come from the donation of the Tapling collection then constantly developed. An important part of the collection (approximately: 80000 stamps) is presented to the public with the BL on more: 1000 schemes of presentation. The remainder is accessible on request to the researchers and the students. Lastly, the library systematically acquires all the studies on the stamps and philately, which is in fact one of the principal centers of reference on this subject.
The British Library Document Supply CenterThe British Library is famous also for its service of Prêt between libraries, called British Library Document Supply Center (“Center of supply of documents of the BL”) (BLDSC). Having all the documents published in British Isles, but also a significant proportion of documents of the the United States, in particular of the Thesis S, it constitutes an important resource for the European libraries. The practical BLDSC of the tariffs considered to be high and follows an offensive marketing policy.
Veronique Heurtematte, “the British Library for all”, in Books Hebdo , 642, April 21st, 2006, p. 66-67.
- Official site
- Catalog of the '' British Library ''
- Some books of importance preserved at the BL were digitized and are presented here with explanations
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