I’ve been to London four times, and on each trip, I’ve made a reverential visit to The British Library. Naturally, this was the very first stop for MSCM 398.
At last count (2013), the library held more than 115 million items, and the collection continues to grow. The library receives a copy of every book published in the U.K., making it one of the world’s most important cultural resources. This is definitely not your ordinary lending library. Nothing leaves the building. Instead, citizens (including, of course, scholars) from all over the world make the journey to study the collected knowledge of human civilization in the library’s reading rooms. Admission is free, though the library charges for some of the rotating exhibitions.
Most impressive are the treasures found in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery.
The treasures can’t be photographed, but Rick Steves has posted a short video tour of the exhibition on YouTube. What a testament to the human spirit this is.