London: The British Library (1/5/15)

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.

This dramatic view greets visitors as you walk through the entrance.

This dramatic view greets visitors as they walk through the main entrance.

Some of the Library's most historic volumes are displayed at the top of the grand staircase.

Some of the Library’s most historic volumes are displayed at the top of the grand staircase.

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.

Chills: A Gutenberg Bible, a score in Mozart's hand, and Jane Austen's writing desk are here.

Chills: A Gutenberg Bible, a score in Mozart’s hand, and Jane Austen’s writing desk are here.

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.

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About massmediax

Dr. Michael Huntsberger is Associate Professor in the department of Mass Communication at Linfield College. He teaches courses in electronic media production, mass communication ethics, and mass communication history, and his research focuses on public media policy and technology. He is an active member of the Broadcast Education Association and the RIPE Initiative.
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One Response to London: The British Library (1/5/15)

  1. Lisa Weidman says:

    I’m enjoying reading your posts, Michael. (I hope the students will read it, too, and pick up a few things to improve their own blogs.) It sounds like you’ve planned a fabulous course. I’m traveling vicariously with you!

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