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The British Library is the
national library A national library is a library established by a government as a country's preeminent repository of information. Unlike public library, public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow books. Often, they include numerous rare, valuable, or ...

national library
of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest libraries in the world. It is estimated to contain between 170–200 million items from many countries. As a
legal deposit Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The number of copies required varies from country to country. Typically, the national library is the primary reposito ...
library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a
non-departmental public body In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer t ...
sponsored by the
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport , type = Department , logo = DCMS logo 1.png , logo_width = , logo_caption = , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = Government Offices Great George Street.jpg , picture_width = 200px , picture_caption = 100 Parliament ...
. The British Library is a major
research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs o ...
, with items in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play-scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings. The Library's collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and items dating as far back as 2000 BC. The library maintains a programme for content acquisition and adds some three million items each year occupying of new shelf space. Prior to 1973, the Library was part of the
British Museum The British Museum is a public institution dedicated to human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of hu ...

British Museum
. The Library is now located in a purpose-built building on the north side of
Euston Road Euston Road is a road in Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands o ...
in St Pancras, London (between
Euston railway station Euston railway station ( ; also known as London Euston) is a central London railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden The London Borough of Camden () is a London borough The London boroughs are the 32 districts of England, lo ...
and
St Pancras railway station St Pancras railway station (), also known as London St Pancras or St Pancras International and officially since 2007 as London St Pancras International, is a central London railway terminus on Euston Road Euston Road is a road in Central L ...

St Pancras railway station
), and has a Additional Storage Building and reading room near
Boston Spa Boston Spa is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, ...
, which is near
Wetherby Wetherby () is a market town A market town is a European that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the , a market right, which allowed it to host a regular ; this distinguished it from a or . In Britain, small rural towns with a ...
in West Yorkshire. The St Pancras building was officially opened by Queen
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
on 25 June 1998, and is classified as a Grade I
listed building A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive ...
"of exceptional interest" for its architecture and history.


Early foundations

The British Library was created on 1 July 1973 as a result of the British Library Act 1972. Prior to this, the national library was part of the
British Museum The British Museum is a public institution dedicated to human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of hu ...

British Museum
, which provided the bulk of the holdings of the new library, alongside smaller organisations which were folded in (such as the National Central Library, the National Lending Library for Science and Technology and the
British National BibliographyThe British National Bibliography (BNB) was established at the British Museum in 1949 to publish a list of the books, journals and serials that are published in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commo ...
). In 1974 functions previously exercised by the Office for Scientific and Technical Information were taken over; in 1982 the
India Office Library and Records The India Office Records are a very large collection of documents relating to the administration of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies b ...
and the
HMSO The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is the body responsible for the operation of His/Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and of other public information services of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and N ...
Binderies became British Library responsibilities. In 1983, the Library absorbed the
National Sound Archive The British Library Sound Archive (formerly the British Institute of Recorded Sound; also known as the National Sound Archive (NSA)) in London, England is among the largest collections of recorded sound in the world, including music, spoken word an ...
, which holds many sound and video recordings, with over a million discs and thousands of tapes. The core of the Library's historical collections is based on a series of donations and acquisitions from the 18th century, known as the "foundation collections". These include the books and manuscripts of Sir Robert Cotton,
Sir Hans Sloane Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet (16 April 1660 – 11 January 1753), was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is ...
, Robert Harley and the
King's Library The King's Library was one of the most important collections of books and pamphlets of the Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; i ...
of
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Monarchy of Ireland, Ireland from 25 October 1760 until Acts of Union 1800, the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he wa ...

King George III
, as well as the
Old Royal Library Author portrait of Edward IV Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain f ...
donated by King George II. For many years its collections were dispersed in various buildings around
central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the ...
, in places such as
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...

Bloomsbury
(within the British Museum),
Chancery Lane Chancery Lane is a one-way street situated in the Wards of the City of London, ward of Farringdon Without in the City of London. It has formed the western boundary of the City since 1994, having previously been divided between the City of West ...
,
Bayswater Bayswater is an area within the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough. It has been the capital city, ''de facto'', of multiple British g ...

Bayswater
, and
Holborn Holborn ( or ) is a district in central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city s ...

Holborn
, with an interlibrary lending centre at
Boston Spa Boston Spa is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, ...
, east of
Wetherby Wetherby () is a market town A market town is a European that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the , a market right, which allowed it to host a regular ; this distinguished it from a or . In Britain, small rural towns with a ...
in West Yorkshire (situated on Thorp Arch Trading Estate), and the newspaper library at
Colindale Colindale is a London district in the borough of London Borough of Barnet, Barnet, although the western side of Colindale's main shopping street on the A5 road, A5 (including Colindale Business Park) falls within the boundaries of London Borough ...
, north-west London. Initial plans for the British Library required demolition of an integral part of Bloomsbury – a seven-acre swathe of streets immediately in front of the Museum, so that the Library could be situated directly opposite. After a long and hard-fought campaign led by Dr George Wagner, this decision was overturned and the library was instead constructed by
John Laing plc John Laing Group plc is a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas T ...
on a site at
Euston Road Euston Road is a road in Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands o ...
next to
St Pancras railway station St Pancras railway station (), also known as London St Pancras or St Pancras International and officially since 2007 as London St Pancras International, is a central London railway terminus on Euston Road Euston Road is a road in Central L ...

St Pancras railway station
. Following the closure of the Round Reading Room on 25 October 1997 the library stock began to be moved into the St Pancras building. Before the end of that year the first of eleven new reading rooms had opened and the moving of stock was continuing. From 1997 to 2009 the main collection was housed in this single new building and the collection of British and overseas newspapers was housed at
Colindale Colindale is a London district in the borough of London Borough of Barnet, Barnet, although the western side of Colindale's main shopping street on the A5 road, A5 (including Colindale Business Park) falls within the boundaries of London Borough ...
. In July 2008 the Library announced that it would be moving low-use items to a new storage facility in
Boston Spa Boston Spa is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, ...
in Yorkshire and that it planned to close the newspaper library at Colindale, ahead of a later move to a similar facility on the same site. From January 2009 to April 2012 over 200 km of material was moved to the Additional Storage Building and is now delivered to British Library Reading Rooms in London on request by a daily shuttle service. Construction work on the Additional Storage Building was completed in 2013 and the newspaper library at Colindale closed on 8 November 2013. The collection has now been split between the St Pancras and Boston Spa sites. The British Library Document Supply Service (BLDSS) and the Library's Document Supply Collection is based on the same site in Boston Spa. Collections housed in Yorkshire, comprising low-use material and the newspaper and Document Supply collections, make up around 70% of the total material the library holds. The Library previously had a book storage depot in
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
, south-east London, which is no longer in use. The new library was designed specially for the purpose by the architect
Colin St John Wilson Sir Colin Alexander St John ("Sandy") Wilson, FRIBA, RA, (14 March 1922 – 14 May 2007) was an English architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provi ...
in collaboration with his wife
MJ Long Mary Jane Long, Lady Wilson, OBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during ...
, who came up with the plan that was subsequently developed and built. Facing Euston Road is a large piazza that includes pieces of
public art Public art is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligenc ...

public art
, such as large sculptures by
Eduardo Paolozzi Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi (, ; 7 March 1924 – 22 April 2005) was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of pop art. Early years Eduardo Paolozzi was born on 7 March 1924, in Leith Leith (; g ...
(a bronze statue based on
William Blake William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his life, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the Romantic poetry, poetry and visual art of t ...

William Blake
's study of
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics a ...

Isaac Newton
) and
Antony Gormley Sir Antony Mark David Gormley, (born 30 August 1950), is a British sculptor Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of ...
. It is the largest public building constructed in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. In the middle of the building is a six-storey glass tower inspired by a similar structure in the
Beinecke Library The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library () is the rare book library and literary archive of the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Ha ...
, containing the
King's Library The King's Library was one of the most important collections of books and pamphlets of the Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; i ...
with 65,000 printed volumes along with other pamphlets, manuscripts and maps collected by King George III between 1763 and 1820. In December 2009 a new storage building at Boston Spa was opened by
Rosie Winterton Dame Rosalie Winterton, (born 10 August 1958) is a British Labour Party (UK), Labour Party politician. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Doncaster Central (UK Parliament constituen ...
. The new facility, costing £26 million, has a capacity for seven million items, stored in more than 140,000 containers and which are retrieved by robots from the 162.7 miles of temperature and humidity-controlled storage space. On Friday, 5 April 2013, the Library announced that it would begin saving all sites with the suffix
.uk .uk is the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of ne ...
in a bid to preserve the nation's "
digital memory Semiconductor memory is a digital electronic semiconductor device A semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductivity value falling between that of a Electrical conductor, conduc ...
" (which as of then amounted to about 4.8 million sites containing 1 billion web pages). The Library would make all the material publicly available to users by the end of 2013, and would ensure that, through technological advancements, all the material is preserved for future generations, despite the fluidity of the Internet. The building was Grade I listed on 1 August 2015. It has plans to open a second location in
Leeds Leeds is the largest city in the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publis ...

Leeds
, potentially located in the Grade 1 listed
Temple Works Temple Works is a former flax mill at Holbeck, Leeds, probably circa 1843 Image:Marshall's flax-mill, Holbeck, Leeds - interior - c.1800.jpg, Interior of Marshall's flax-mill Flax mills are mills which process flax Flax, also known as comm ...

Temple Works
.


Legal deposit

In England,
legal deposit Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The number of copies required varies from country to country. Typically, the national library is the primary reposito ...
can be traced back to at least 1610. The
Copyright Act 1911 The Copyright Act 1911, also known as the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911, is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (UK) which received Royal Assent on 16 December 1911. The act established copyright law in the UK and the ...
established the principle of the legal deposit, ensuring that the British Library and five other libraries in Great Britain and Ireland are entitled to receive a free copy of every item published or distributed in Britain. The other five libraries are: the
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housi ...

Bodleian Library
at
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' u ...

Oxford
; the
University Library University Library Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1694. La nouvelle bibliothèque, from ''Les delices de Leide, une des célèbres villes de l'Europe'', Leiden: P. van der Aa, 1712 An academic library is a library A library is a curated colle ...
at
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...

Cambridge
; the
Trinity College Library The Library of Trinity College Dublin () serves Trinity College Dublin, Trinity College and the University of Dublin. It is a legal deposit or "copyright library", which means that publishers in Republic of Ireland, Ireland must deposit a copy ...

Trinity College Library
at
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
; and the National Libraries of Scotland and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
. The British Library is the only one that must automatically receive a copy of every item published in Britain; the others are entitled to these items, but must specifically request them from the publisher after learning that they have been or are about to be published, a task done centrally by the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries. Further, under the terms of Irish copyright law (most recently the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000), the British Library is entitled to automatically receive a free copy of every book published in Ireland, alongside the
National Library of Ireland The National Library of Ireland (NLI; ga, Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann) is the Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 Countie ...

National Library of Ireland
, the Trinity College Library at Dublin, the library of the
University of Limerick The University of Limerick (UL) ( ga, Ollscoil Luimnigh) is a higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education ...
, the library of
Dublin City University Dublin City University (abbreviated as DCU) ( ga, Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath) is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary educat ...
and the libraries of the four constituent universities of the
National University of Ireland The National University of Ireland (NUI) ( ga, Ollscoil na hÉireann) is a federal university A collegiate university is a university in which functions are divided between a central administration and a number of constituent colleges. His ...
. The Bodleian Library, Cambridge University Library, and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales are also entitled to copies of material published in Ireland, but again must formally make requests. The
Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 (c 28) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which regulates the legal deposit of publications in the United Kingdom. The bill for this Act was a private member's bill. This Act wa ...
extended United Kingdom legal deposit requirements to electronic documents, such as
CD-ROM A CD-ROM (, compact disc read-only memory) is a pre-pressed optical compact disc The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital ...

CD-ROM
s and selected websites. The Library also holds the
Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections The Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections previously called the Oriental and India Office Collections (OIOC) form a significant part of the holdings of the British Library in London, England. India Office collection The collections include the doc ...
(APAC) which include the
India Office Records The India Office Records are a very large collection of documents relating to the administration of India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most populous in the worl ...
and materials in the languages of Asia and of north and north-east Africa.


Using the library's reading rooms

The Library is open to everyone who has a genuine need to use its collections. Anyone with a permanent address who wishes to carry out research can apply for a Reader Pass; they are required to provide proof of signature and address. Historically, only those wishing to use specialised material unavailable in other public or academic libraries would be given a Reader Pass. The Library has been criticised for admitting numbers of undergraduate students, who have access to their own university libraries, to the reading rooms. The Library replied that it has always admitted undergraduates as long as they have a legitimate personal, work-related or academic research purpose. The majority of catalogue entries can be found on Explore the British Library, the Library's main catalogue, which is based on Primo. Other collections have their own catalogues, such as western manuscripts. The large reading rooms offer hundreds of seats which are often filled with researchers, especially during the Easter and summer holidays. British Library Reader Pass holders are also able to view the Document Supply Collection in the Reading Room at the Library's site in
Boston Spa Boston Spa is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, ...
in Yorkshire as well as the hard-copy newspaper collection from 29 September 2014. Now that access is available to legal deposit collection material, it is necessary for visitors to register as a Reader to use the Boston Spa Reading Room.


Online, electronic and digital resources


Material available online

The British Library makes a number of images of items within its collections available online. Its ''Online Gallery'' gives access to 30,000 images from various medieval books, together with a handful of exhibition-style items in a proprietary format, such as the
Lindisfarne Gospels upright=1.2, Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit from the Gospel of Matthew. The Lindisfarne Gospels (London, British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV) is an illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript ...
. This includes the facility to "turn the virtual pages" of a few documents, such as
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
's notebooks. Catalogue entries for many of the
illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a formally prepared document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, con ...
collections are available online, with selected images of pages or miniatures from a growing number of them, and there is a database of significant
bookbinding Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book of codex format from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack (signature) is then bound toge ...
s.
British Library SoundsBritish Library Sounds (previously named Archival Sound Recordings) is a British Library The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest libraries in the world. It is estimated to contain between 170 ...
provides free online access to over 60,000 sound recordings. The British Library's commercial secure electronic delivery service was started in 2003 at a cost of £6 million. This offers more than 100 million items (including 280,000 journal titles, 50 million patents, 5 million reports, 476,000 US dissertations and 433,000 conference proceedings) for researchers and library patrons worldwide which were previously unavailable outside the Library because of
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
restrictions. In line with a government directive that the British Library must cover a percentage of its operating costs, a fee is charged to the user. However, this service is no longer profitable and has led to a series of restructures to try to prevent further losses. When Google Books started, the British Library signed an agreement with
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
to digitise a number of books from the British Library for its Live Search Books project. This material was only available to readers in the US, and closed in May 2008. The scanned books are currently available via the British Library catalogue or
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...
. In October 2010 the British Library launched its ''Management and business studies portal''. This website is designed to allow digital access to management research reports, consulting reports, working papers and articles. In November 2011, four million newspaper pages from the 18th and 19th centuries were made available online. The project will scan up to 40 million pages over the next 10 years. The archive is free to search, but there is a charge for accessing the pages themselves.


Electronic collections

''Explore the British Library'' is the latest iteration of the online catalogue. It contains nearly 57 million records and may be used to search, view and order items from the collections or search the contents of the Library's website. The Library's electronic collections include over 40,000 ejournals, 800 databases and other electronic resources. A number of these are available for remote access to registered St Pancras Reader Pass holders. PhD theses are available via the
E-Theses Online Service E-Theses Online Service (EThOS) is a bibliographic database and union catalogue of electronic thesis, theses provided by the British Library, the National Library of the United Kingdom. EThOS provides access to approximately 480,000 Doctorates, ...
(EThOS).


Digital Library System

In 2012, the UK
legal deposit Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The number of copies required varies from country to country. Typically, the national library is the primary reposito ...
libraries signed a memorandum of understanding to create a shared technical infrastructure implementing the Digital Library System developed by the British Library. The DLS was in anticipation of the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013, an extension of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 to include non-print electronic publications from 6 April 2013. Four storage nodes, located in London,
Boston Spa Boston Spa is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, ...
,
Aberystwyth Aberystwyth () is a university town and community (Wales), community in Ceredigion, Wales. Historically in the Historic counties of Wales, historic county of Cardiganshire, the literal meaning of the cy, Aberystwyth is the mouth of the River Ys ...

Aberystwyth
, and
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
, linked via a secure network in constant communication automatically replicate, self-check, and repair data. A complete crawl of every
.uk .uk is the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of ne ...
domain (and other
TLD A top-level domain (TLD) is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System The Domain Name System (DNS) is the hierarchical and Decentralised system, decentralized naming system used to identify computers, ...
s with UK based server
GeoIP In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and software ...

GeoIP
) has been added annually to the DLS since 2013, which also contains all of the
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
's 1996–2013 .uk collection. The policy and system is based on that of the
Bibliothèque nationale de France The Bibliothèque nationale de France (, "National Library of France"; BnF) is the national library of France, located in Paris. It is the national repository of all that is published in France and also holds extensive historical collections. H ...
, which has crawled (via IA until 2010) the
.fr .fr is the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of ...
domain annually (62 TBs in 2015) since 2006.


Exhibitions

A number of books and
manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter is a or machine for characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array ...

manuscript
s are on display to the public in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery which is open seven days a week at no charge. Some manuscripts in the exhibition include ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...

Beowulf
'', the
Lindisfarne Gospels upright=1.2, Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit from the Gospel of Matthew. The Lindisfarne Gospels (London, British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV) is an illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript ...
and
St Cuthbert Gospel The St Cuthbert Gospel, also known as the Stonyhurst Gospel or the St Cuthbert Gospel of St John, is an early 8th-century pocket gospel book A Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels (: , ''Evangélion'') is a or bound volume contain ...
, a
Gutenberg Bible The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the earliest major book printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. It marked the start of the " Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of printed ...

Gutenberg Bible
,
Geoffrey Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer (; – 25 October 1400) was an English poet and author. Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and coll ...

Geoffrey Chaucer
's ''
Canterbury Tales ''The Canterbury Tales'' ( enm, Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conque ...

Canterbury Tales
'',
Thomas Malory Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1415 – 14 March 1471) was an English writer, the author or compiler of '' Le Morte d'Arthur'', the classic English-language chronicle of the Arthurian legend The Matter of Britain is the body of Medieval literatu ...
's '' Le Morte d'Arthur'' (
King Arthur King Arthur ( cy, Brenin Arthur, kw, Arthur Gernow, br, Roue Arzhur) was a Legend, legendary Celtic Britons, British leader who, according to Historians in England during the Middle Ages, medieval histories and Romance (heroic literature), ...

King Arthur
),
Captain Cook Captain (Royal Navy), Captain James Cook (7 November 1728Old Style and New Style dates, Old Style date: 27 October14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, Cartography, cartographer, and Captain (Royal Navy), captain in the British ...

Captain Cook
's journal,
Jane Austen Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry The landed gentry, or the ''gentry'', is a l ...

Jane Austen
's ''
History of England England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the ...
'',
Charlotte Brontë Charlotte Brontë (, commonly ; 21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature Literature wr ...

Charlotte Brontë
's ''
Jane Eyre ''Jane Eyre'' (originally published as ''Jane Eyre: An Autobiography'') is a novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonficti ...

Jane Eyre
'',
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and its sequel ''Through the Looking-Glass'' ...

Lewis Carroll
's '' Alice's Adventures Under Ground'',
Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily Daily or The Daily may refer to: Journalism * Daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical pub ...

Rudyard Kipling
's ''
Just So Stories ''Just So Stories for Little Children'' is a 1902 collection of origin stories by the British author Rudyard Kipling. Considered a classic of children's literature Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, ma ...
'',
Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian e ...

Charles Dickens
's ''
Nicholas Nickleby ''Nicholas Nickleby'' or ''The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby'' (or also ''The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Containing a Faithful Account of the Fortunes, Misfortunes, Uprisings, Downfallings, and Complete Career of the ...

Nicholas Nickleby
'',
Virginia Woolf Adeline Virginia Woolf (; ; 25 January 1882 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist literature, modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of Stream of consciousness (narrative mode), ...

Virginia Woolf
's ''
Mrs Dalloway ''Mrs Dalloway'' (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post–First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviate ...
'' and a room devoted solely to ''
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
'', as well as several
Qur'an The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, God (''Allah''). It is widely rega ...

Qur'an
s and Asian items. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are frequent thematic exhibitions which have covered maps, sacred texts, history of the English language, and law, including a celebration of the 800th anniversary of the
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
.


Services and departments


Business and IP Centre

In May 2005, the British Library received a grant of £1 million from the
London Development Agency The London Development Agency (LDA) was from July 2000 until 2012 the regional development agency In the United Kingdom, regional development agencies (RDAs) were nine non-departmental public bodies established for the purpose of developmen ...
to change two of its reading rooms into the Business & IP Centre. The Centre was opened in March 2006. It holds arguably the most comprehensive collection of business and intellectual property (IP) material in the United Kingdom and is the official library of the
UK Intellectual Property Office The Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom (often referred to as the UK IPO) is, since 2 April 2007, the operating name of The Patent Office. It is the official government body responsible for intellectual property Intellectual p ...
. The collection is divided up into four main information areas:
market research Market research is an organized effort to gather information about target markets A target market is a group of customers within a business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling ...

market research
, company information, trade directories, and . It is free of charge in hard copy and online via approximately 30 subscription databases. Registered readers can access the collection and the databases. There are over 50 million patent specifications from 40 countries in a collection dating back to 1855. The collection also includes official gazettes on patents,
trade marks A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-markThe styling of ''trademark'' as a single word is predominantly used in the United States and Philippines only, while the two-word styling ''trade mark'' is used in many other countries around ...
and
Registered Design An industrial design right is an intellectual property right that protects the visual design of objects that are not purely utilitarian. An industrial design consists of the creation of a shape, configuration or composition of pattern or color, or ...
; law reports and other material on
litigation A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil ...
; and information on
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
. This is available in hard copy and via online databases. Staff are trained to guide
small and medium enterpriseSmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The abbreviation "SME" is used by international organizations such as the World Bank, the European ...
s (SME) and entrepreneurs to use the full range of resources. In 2018, a Human Lending Library service was established in the Business & IP Centre, allowing social entrepreneurs to receive an hour's mentoring from a high-profile business professional. This service is run in partnership with Expert Impact. Stephen Fear was the British Library's Entrepreneur in Residence and Ambassador from 2012 to 2016.


Document Supply Service

As part of its establishment in 1973, the British Library absorbed the National Lending Library for Science and Technology (NLL), based near
Boston Spa Boston Spa is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, ...
in Yorkshire, which had been established in 1961. Before this, the site had housed a
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
Royal Ordnance Factory Royal Ordnance Factories (ROFs) was the collective name of the UK government's munitions factories during and after the World War II, Second World War. Until privatisation, in 1987, they were the responsibility of the Ministry of Supply (United ...
, ROF Thorp Arch, which closed in 1957. When the NLL became part of the British Library in 1973 it changed its name to the British Library Lending Division, in 1985 it was renamed as the British Library Document Supply Centre and is now known as the British Library Document Supply Service, often abbreviated as BLDSS. BLDSS now holds 87.5 million items, including 296,000 international journal titles, 400,000 conference proceedings, 3 million
monographs A monograph is a specialist work of writing (in contrast to reference works) or exhibition on a single subject or an aspect of a subject, often by a single author or artist, and usually on a scholarly subject. In library cataloging, ''monograp ...
, 5 million official publications, and 500,000 UK and North American theses and dissertations. 12.5 million articles in the Document Supply Collection are held electronically and can be downloaded immediately. The collection supports
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geogra ...

research and development
in UK, overseas and international industry, particularly in the
pharmaceutical industry The pharmaceutical industry discovers, develops, produces, and markets drug Uncoated tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a minor amount of inert fillers and binders. Aspirin is a pharmaceutical drug A me ...
. BLDSS also provides material to Higher Education institutions, students and staff and members of the public, who can order items through their
Public Library A public library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs ...
or through the Library's BL Document Supply Service (BLDSS). The Document Supply Service also offers Find it For Me and Get it For Me services which assist researchers in accessing hard-to-find material. In April 2013, BLDSS launched its new online ordering and tracking system, which enables customers to search available items, view detailed availability, pricing and delivery time information, place and track orders, and manage account preferences online.


Sound archive

The British Library Sound Archive holds more than a million discs and 185,000 tapes. The collections come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound, from music, drama and literature to oral history and wildlife sounds, stretching back over more than 100 years. The Sound Archive's online catalogue is updated daily. It is possible to listen to recordings from the collection in selected Reading Rooms in the Library through their ''SoundServer'' and ''Listening and Viewing Service'', which is based in the Rare Books & Music Reading Room. In 2006, the Library launched a new online resource,
British Library SoundsBritish Library Sounds (previously named Archival Sound Recordings) is a British Library The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest libraries in the world. It is estimated to contain between 170 ...
, which makes 50,000 of the Sound Archive's recordings available online.


Moving image services

Launched in October 2012, the British Library's moving image services provide access to nearly a million sound and moving image items onsite, supported by data for over 20 million sound and moving image recordings. The three services, which for copyright reasons can only be accessed from terminals within the Reading Rooms at St Pancras or Boston Spa, are: * BBC Pilot/ Redux: A collaboration with
BBC Research & Development BBC Research & Development is the technical research department of the BBC. Function It has responsibility for researching and developing advanced and emerging media technologies for the benefit of the corporation, and wider UK and European med ...
to mirror its archive which has, since June 2007, been recording 24/7 of all of the BBC's national and some regional broadcast output. BBC Pilot includes 2.2 million catalogue records and 225,000 playable programmes, but unlike BBC Redux it does not include any broadcasts beyond 2011. * Broadcast News: Since May 2010, the British Library has been making off-air recordings of daily TV and radio news broadcasts from seventeen channels, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News, Al-Jazeera English, NHK World, CNN, France 24, Bloomberg, Russia Today and China's CCTV News. Many of the programs come with subtitles, which can be electronically searched, greatly enhancing the value of the collection as a research tool. * Television & Radio Index for Learning & Teaching (TRILT): Produced by the British Universities Film & Video Council (
BUFVCThe British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) is a representative body promoting the production, study and use of moving image, sound and related media for learning and research. It is a company limited by guarantee, with charity status, serv ...
), TRILT is a database of all UK television and radio broadcasts since 2001 (and selectively back to 1995). Its 16 million records, growing by a million per year, cover every channel, broadcast and repeat.


Periodicals and philatelic collections


Newspapers

The Library holds an almost complete collection of British and Irish newspapers since 1840. This is partly because of the legal deposit legislation of 1869, which required newspapers to supply a copy of each edition of a newspaper to the library. London editions of national daily and Sunday newspapers are complete back to 1801. In total, the collection consists of 660,000 bound volumes and 370,000 reels of
microfilm Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents, typically either films A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perception ...
containing tens of millions of newspapers with 52,000 titles on of shelves. From earlier dates, the collections include the Thomason Tracts, comprising 7,200 seventeenth-century newspapers, and the Burney Collection, featuring nearly 1 million pages of newspapers from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The section also holds extensive collections of non-British newspapers, in numerous languages. The Newspapers section was based in
Colindale Colindale is a London district in the borough of London Borough of Barnet, Barnet, although the western side of Colindale's main shopping street on the A5 road, A5 (including Colindale Business Park) falls within the boundaries of London Borough ...
in North London until 2013, when the buildings, which were considered to provide inadequate storage conditions and to be beyond improvement, were closed and sold for redevelopment. The physical holdings are now divided between the sites at St Pancras (some high-use periodicals, and rare items such as the Thomason Tracts and Burney collections) and Boston Spa (the bulk of the collections, stored in a new purpose-built facility). A significant and growing proportion of the collection is now made available to readers as surrogate facsimiles, either on microfilm, or, more recently, in digitised form. In 2010 a ten-year programme of digitisation of the newspaper archives with commercial partner DC Thomson subsidiary Brightsolid began, and the
British Newspaper Archive The British Newspaper Archive web site provides access to searchable digitized archives of British and Irish newspapers. It was launched in November 2011. History The British Library Newspapers section was based in Colindale in North London, u ...
was launched in November 2011. A dedicated newspaper reading room opened at St Pancras in April 2014, including facilities for consulting microfilmed and digital materials, and, where no surrogate exists, hard-copy material retrieved from Boston Spa.


Philatelic collections

The
British Library Philatelic Collections The British Library Philatelic Collections is the national philatelic collection of the United Kingdom with over 8 million items from around the world. It was established in 1891 as part of the British Museum Library, later to become the Br ...
are held at St Pancras. The collections were established in 1891 with the donation of the Tapling collection; they steadily developed and now comprise over 25 major collections and a number of smaller ones, encompassing a wide range of disciplines. The collections include
postage The mail or post is a system for physically transporting postcards, letters, and parcels. A postal service can be private or public, though many governments place restrictions on private systems. Since the mid-19th century, national postal sy ...
and
revenue stamp A revenue stamp, tax stamp, duty stamp or fiscal stamp is a (usually) adhesive label used to collect taxes or fees on documents, tobacco, alcoholic drinks, drugs and medicines, playing cards, hunting licenses, firearm registration, and many o ...
s,
postal stationery A piece of postal stationery is a stationery item, such as a stamped envelope A stamped envelope or postal stationery envelope (PSE) is an envelope with a printed or Embossing (paper), embossed indicium indicating the prepayment of postag ...
,
essays An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying l ...
, proofs, covers and entries, "
cinderella stamp In philately, a cinderella stamp is "virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration". There is a wide variety of cinderella stamps, such as those printed for promotional u ...
" material, specimen issues,
airmail Airmail (or air mail) is a mail The mail or post is a system for physically transporting postcard A postcard or post card is a piece of thick paper or thin Card stock, cardboard, typically rectangular, intended for writing and mailing ...
s, some
postal history Postal history is the study of postal system The mail or post is a system for physically transporting postcard A postcard or post card is a piece of thick paper or thin Card stock, cardboard, typically rectangular, intended for writing an ...
materials, official and private posts, etc., for almost all countries and periods. An extensive display of material from the collections is on exhibit, which may be the best permanent display of diverse classic stamps and philatelic material in the world. Approximately 80,000 items on 6,000 sheets may be viewed in 1,000 display frames; 2,400 sheets are from the Tapling Collection. All other material, which covers the whole world, is available to students and researchers. As well as these collections, the library actively acquires literature on the subject. This makes the British Library one of the world's prime philatelic research centres. The Head Curator of the Philatelic Collections is Paul Skinner.


Other projects

The British Library sponsors or co-sponsors many projects of national and international significance. These include: *
International Dunhuang Project The International Dunhuang Project (IDP) is an international collaborative effort to conserve, catalogue and digitise manuscripts, printed texts, paintings, textiles and artefacts from the Mogao caves The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand ...
* Theatre Archive Project * Friends of the British Library *
Incunabula Short Title Catalogue The Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) is an electronic bibliographic database A database is an organized collection of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answer ...
* British Library Preservation Advisory Centre * DataCite, an international
not-for-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that o ...
organisation which aims to improve
data citation Data citation is the provision of accurate, consistent and standardised referencing for Data set, datasets just as bibliographic citations are provided for other published sources like research articles or monographs. Typically the well established ...

data citation
*
Endangered Archives Programme Sui script, Shuishu manuscript digitized under EAP143-1 ''Shui Manuscript Collection at the Libo Archives, Guizhou, China 6th - 20th Century' The Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) is a funding programme and digital archive run by the British ...


Highlights of the collections

Highlights, some of which were selected by the British Library, include:


1300 BC – 500 AD

* More than 450 Chinese
oracle bones Oracle bones () are pieces of ox scapula In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀρ ...
from the
Shang Dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history. From ...

Shang Dynasty
, the oldest artefacts in the British Library (1300–1050 BC) * Constitution of Athenians, papyrus work describing the constitution of
Classical Athens The city of Athens ( grc, Ἀθῆναι, ''Athênai'' Help:IPA/Greek, .tʰɛ̂ː.nai̯ Modern Greek: Αθήναι ''Athine'' or, more commonly and in singular, Αθήνα ''Athina'' .'θi.na during the Classical Greece, classical period ...
by
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
or one of his pupils, from
Hermopolis Hermopolis ( grc, Ἑρμοῦ πόλις ''Hermoû pólis'' "the City of Hermes Hermes (; grc-gre, Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian deity in ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, mythology. Hermes is considered the herald of the gods. ...
, Egypt (78–100 AD) * De bellis macedonicis, fragment of a Latin Codex recording the
Macedonian Wars The Macedonian Wars (214–148 BC) were a series of conflicts fought by the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Repr ...
in an early form of
uncial script Uncial is a majuscule Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that ...
(1st-2nd centuries AD) *
Gandhāran Buddhist texts The Gandhāran Buddhist texts are the oldest Buddhism, Buddhist manuscripts yet discovered, dating from about the 1st century CE to 3rd century CE, and are also the oldest Indian manuscripts. They represent the literature of Gandharan Buddhism from ...
, some of the oldest Buddhist
manuscripts A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters s ...

manuscripts
yet discovered (1st–3rd centuries AD) * Bankes
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
, one of the longest and best preserved
papyri Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically or chemically processing cellulose fibres derived from wood, Textile, rags, poaceae, grasses or other vegetable sources in water, dr ...

papyri
of Homer's literary works surviving from antiquity, containing the bulk of the text of the final book of the
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
(2nd century AD) * Egerton Gospel, one of the two earliest preserved
papyrus Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, ''Cyperus papyrus'', a wetland sedge. ''Papyrus'' (plural: ''papyri'') can also refer to a do ...

papyrus
witnesses to the Christian gospel tradition (2nd century AD) * Sixty-six Indian charters on copper plates, including those from Chamak and two similar groups of plates from
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...

Java
, (1st century BC – 13th century AD) * Fragments of the
Spitzer Manuscript The Spitzer Manuscript is the oldest surviving philosophical manuscript in Sanskrit, and possibly the oldest Sanskrit manuscript of any type related to Buddhism and Hinduism discovered so far. The manuscript was found in 1906 in the form of a pile ...
, the oldest surviving manuscript in
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
discovered so far, from the
Kizil Caves The Kizil Caves ( zh, t=克孜爾千佛洞, s=克孜尔千佛洞, l=Kizil Caves of the Thousand Buddhas; ug, قىزىل مىڭ ئۆي, translation=The Thousand Red Houses; also romanized Qizil Caves, spelling variant Qyzyl; Kizil means 'red') are ...
, China (200–230 AD) * Gospel of John Papyrus, early copy of the
Gospel according to John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels Gospel originally meant ...
from the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, discovered in
Oxyrhynchus Oxyrhynchus (; grc-gre, Ὀξύρρυγχος, Oxýrrhynchos, sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Pr-Medjed''; cop, or , ''Pemdje''; ar, البهنسا, ''Al-Bahnasa'') is a city in Middle Egypt located about 160 km sou ...

Oxyrhynchus
, Egypt (250 AD) * Sogdian Ancient Letters, the earliest substantial texts written in Sogdian, the language formerly spoken in the area around
Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = Clockwise from the top: The Reg ...

Samarkand
in present-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (313–314 AD) *
Codex Sinaiticus The Codex Sinaiticus (ShelfmarkA shelfmark is a mark in a book or manuscript that denotes the cupboard or bookcase where it is kept as well as the shelf and possibly even its location on the shelf. The closely related term pressmark (from pres ...
, the major portion of the world's second-oldest manuscript of the Bible in
koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
(330–360 AD) * Letters of
Cyprian Cyprian ( ; la, Thaschus Caecilius Cyprianus; 210 – September 14, 258 AD''The Liturgy of the Hours according to the Roman Rite: Vol. IV.'' New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1975. p. 1406.) was a bishop of Carthage The Archdiocese ...

Cyprian
, three fragments from St Cyprian's
epistles An epistle (; el, ἐπιστολή, ''epistolē,'' "letter") is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal Didacticism, didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Eg ...
in
uncial script Uncial is a majuscule Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that ...
, part of a Latin Codex from
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
, north Africa (late 4th century AD) *
Codex Alexandrinus The Codex Alexandrinus (London, British Library, Royal MS 1. D. V-VIII; Biblical manuscript#Gregory-Aland, Gregory-Aland no. A or 02, Biblical manuscript#Von Soden, Soden δ 4) is a fifth-century Christian manuscript of a Greek Bible,The Greek V ...
, early manuscript of the Greek Bible containing the majority of the Old Testament and New Testament and one of the four
Great uncial codices The great uncial codices or four great uncials are the only remaining uncial codices that contain (or originally contained) the entire text of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a co ...
(400–440 AD) * Jacob Manuscript, the second oldest extant
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
manuscript and the oldest codex bearing a date in any language, handwritten by the scribe Jacob (411 AD) *
Curetonian Gospels The Curetonian Gospels, designated by the ''siglum'' syrcur, are contained in a manuscript of the four gospels of the New Testament in Old Syriac. Together with the Sinaiticus Palimpsest the Curetonian Gospels form the Old Syriac Version, and are ...
, manuscript of the four gospels of the New Testament in (c. 450–470 AD) * Fragments of the Cotton Genesis, luxury illuminated manuscript copy of the
Book of Genesis The Book of Genesis,, "''Bərēšīṯ''", "In hebeginning" the first book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including th ...

Book of Genesis
and one of the oldest illustrated biblical codices to survive to the modern period (4th to 5th centuries AD) * Leaf from the
Codex PalatinusThe Codex Palatinus, designated by e or 2 (in Beuron system), is a 5th-century Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
, Latin Gospel Book written on purple dyed
vellum Vellum is prepared animal skin or "membrane", typically used as a material for writing on. Parchment Parchment is a writing material Writing material refers to the materials that provide the surfaces on which humans use writing instrume ...

vellum
in gold and silver ink (5th century AD) * Maunggun gold plates, two gold strips found at Maunggun near
Sri Ksetra Sri Ksetra (, my, သရေခေတ္တရာ ပြည်, ; lit. "Field of Fortune"Htin Aung, Maung (1970). ''Burmese History before 1287: A Defence of the Chronicles.'' Oxford: The Asoka Society, 8 - 10. or "Field of Glory"), located along ...
, inscribed in the ancient
Pyu script The Pyu script is a writing system used to write the Pyu language, an extinct Sino-Tibetan language Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of pe ...
and among the earliest Buddhist texts discovered in Myanmar, donated by Sir Frederick Fryer, Lieutenant-Governor of Burma (5th century AD) * Seven
folios The term "folio", from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the po ...
of a manuscript containing the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
text of the
Lotus Sutra The Lotus Sūtra () is one of the most influential and venerated Buddhist Mahāyāna sūtras The Mahāyāna Sūtras are a broad genre of Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social system, ...
in
Sharada script The Śāradā, Sarada or Sharada script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts. The script was widespread between the 8th and 12th centuries in the northwestern parts of Indian Subcontinent (in Kashmir and neighbouring a ...

Sharada script
from
Gilgit Gilgit (; Shina: ; ur, ) is the capital city of Gilgit–Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (, Balti: རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by Pakista ...

Gilgit
, the earliest paper manuscript from South Asia (5th–7th centuries AD) * Earliest Syriac manuscript with the complete
Peshitta The Peshitta ( syc, ܦܫܺܝܛܬܳܐ ''or'' ') is the standard version of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hel ...

Peshitta
text of the New Testament (5th-6th centuries AD)


500 – 800 AD

* Earliest dated Syriac manuscript of the two Gospels and the Peshitta Apostolos,
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
manuscripts A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters s ...

manuscripts
of the Peshitta or
Syriac Bible Syriac language, Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic. Portions of the Old Testament were written in Aramaic and there are Aramaic phrases in the New Testament. Syriac translations of the New Testament were among the first and date from the 2nd century. T ...

Syriac Bible
(528–534) * Codex Harleianus or Harley Latin Gospels, one of the earliest manuscripts of the Gospels in Latin, Italy (550) *
Codex Nitriensis Codex Nitriensis, designated by R or 027 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 22 ( von Soden), is a 6th-century Greek New Testament codex The codex (plural codices () was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for ...

Codex Nitriensis
, Greek New Testament codex containing the Gospel of Luke from the Monastery of St. Mary Deipara in the
Nitrian Desert The Nitrian Desert is a desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface o ...
, Egypt (c. 550) * Ravenna Papyrus, 2.5m long papyrus scroll in Latin
cursive Cursive (also known as script, among other names) is any style of penmanship Penmanship is the technique of writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writi ...

cursive
script with contract for the sale of a property in
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
, Italy (dated 3 June 572) * Four leaves from the
Codex Purpureus Petropolitanus Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus, designated by N or 022 (in the Biblical manuscript#Gregory-Aland, Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 19 (Biblical manuscript#Von Soden, Soden), is a 6th-century Koine Greek, Greek New Testament codex gospel book. Written ...
, a Greek manuscript of the
Gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words and ...
written on
purple parchment Purple parchment, purple vellum or codex purpureus refers to manuscripts written on parchment dyed purple. The lettering may be in gold or silver. Later the practice was revived for some especially grand illuminated manuscript An illuminated m ...
in silver and gold ink (6th century) * Golden Cannon Tables, Byzantine illuminated Gospel made in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
before the
Iconoclasm alt=A painting, 288px, In this Elizabethan work of propaganda, the top right of the picture depicts men busy pulling down and smashing icons, while power is shifting from the dying King Henry VIII at left, pointing to his far more staunchly Pr ...
period (6th century) * Dunhuang Go Manual, the earliest surviving manuscript on the strategic board game of Go (game), Go from Dunhuang, China (6th century) * Askew Codex, unique manuscript in the Coptic script, one of three surviving codices containing full copies of all of the Pistis Sophia, gnostic writings (c. 6th century) * Manuscript copies of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra in the Chinese language, Chinese and Classical Tibetan, Tibetan languages from Dunhuang in China (7th to 9th centuries) * Ceolfrid Bible, fragment of one of the three single-volume Bibles ordered by Ceolfrid and closely related to the Codex Amiatinus (late 7th – early 8th centuries) * Dunhuang Star Chart, one of the first known graphical representations of stars from ancient Chinese astronomy (700) *
Lindisfarne Gospels upright=1.2, Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit from the Gospel of Matthew. The Lindisfarne Gospels (London, British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV) is an illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript ...
, illuminated Latin Gospel book from Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, one of the finest examples of Hiberno-Saxon or Insular art (715–720) * Gospel Book (British Library, Royal MS 1. B. VII), Royal Athelstan Gospels, Anglo-Saxon Illuminated manuscript, illuminated Gospel Book with Merovingian decoration, closely related to the
Lindisfarne Gospels upright=1.2, Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit from the Gospel of Matthew. The Lindisfarne Gospels (London, British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV) is an illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript ...
(700-749) *
St Cuthbert Gospel The St Cuthbert Gospel, also known as the Stonyhurst Gospel or the St Cuthbert Gospel of St John, is an early 8th-century pocket gospel book A Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels (: , ''Evangélion'') is a or bound volume contain ...
, a Northumbrian gospel book with the oldest Western binding (early 8th century) * Codex Beneventanus, illuminated codex containing a Gospel Book for the Monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno near Benevento, Italy (739–760) * Hyakumantō Darani or the "One Million Pagodas and Dharani Prayers", the earliest surviving examples of printing in Japan (764–770) * Tiberius Bede, illuminated manuscript of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, produced at Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey (8th century) * Otho-Corpus Gospels, fragments of an Insular art, insular Gospel Book, the best preserved page representing an Evangelist portrait of the Lion of Saint Mark (8th century) * Vespasian Psalter, Anglo-Saxon illuminated psalter decorated in Insular style, belonging to a group of manuscripts from southern England known as the Tiberius group, which includes the Tiberius Bede and the Book of Nunnaminster (late 8th century) * Gospel Book (British Library, Add MS 40618), London Gospel Book, Illuminated Manuscript, illuminated Pocket Book of the Four Gospels with Evangelist portraits, made in Ireland with later Anglo-Saxon additions (late 8th century) * Moralia in Job (British Library, Add MS 31031), Moralia in Job by Pope Gregory I, St Gregory, and Theological miscellany (British Library, Add MS 43460), Theological Works of St Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, St Jerome and Commodianus, two theological manuscripts produced in Laon, France and Nonantola Italy respectively (late 8th century) * One of the oldest and most complete surviving Qur’an codices in the world, produced in the Hijazi script in the Hijaz region of Arabia where the holy places of Mecca and Medina are. (8th century)


800 – 1000 AD

* Schuttern Gospels, an early illuminated gospel book produced in Baden, Germany (early 9th century) * Æthelstan Psalter, small book of psalms made near Reims, once owned by King Æthelstan of Wessex and given by him to Winchester Cathedral (early 9th century) * Durham Liber Vitae, confraternity book, recording the names of visitors to the church of the bishopric of Durham, England, Durham, and its predecessor sees at Lindisfarne and Chester-le-Street (early 9th century) * Harley Golden Gospels, a Carolingian illuminated manuscript produced in Aachen, Germany (800–825) * Earliest surviving copy of Vitruvius's De architectura, Carolingian manuscript made at the scriptorium attached to the court of Charlemagne in Aachen, Germany (800–825) * Tibetan Annals, two manuscripts written in Old Tibetan covering the period from 643 to 764 AD (800–840) * Harley Aratea, Carolingian copy of ''Phaenomena Aratea'' by the Greek poet Aratus, with 22 full-page representations of the constellations in Calligram, text or scholia within the shapes, from Rheims, France (820) * Carolingian Gospel Book (British Library, Add MS 11848), Fridugisus Gospel Book, illuminated Carolingian Latin Gospel Book produced at Tours under the abbacy of Fridugisus with original treasure binding (820–830) * :fr:Bible de Moutier-Grandval, Bible from Moutier-Grandval Abbey, one of three illustrated bibles containing the text of the Vulgate made at the scriptorium of Tours in the ninth century, France (840) * Lothair Psalter, sumptuous Carolingian manuscript with original Bookbinding, binding furnishing a large silver-gilt medallion of the Emperor Lothair I (840–855) * An early copy of the Qur’an in Kufic script, with beginnings of elements of Arabic illumination and decoration, possibly from al-Kufah, Iraq (850) * Diamond Sutra, the world's earliest-dated printed book printed during the Tang dynasty (868) * Codex Ulmensis, manuscript in Caroline minuscule containing the Epistles and Revelation, produced at the Abbey of Saint Gall, monastic centre under Hartmut of Saint Gall, Abbot Harmut in St Gallen, Switzerland (872–878) * Bodmin manumissions, Bodmin Gospels, illuminated gospel-book copied in Brittany and owned by the Parish Church of St Mary and St Petroc, Priory of St Petroc in Bodmin, Cornwall, with recording of the freeing of slaves entered on some pages (875) * Anglo-Saxon copy of Orosius's ''Historiae Adversus Paganos'' with enlarged zoomorphic initials, produced at the scriptorium in Winchester Cathedral, England (892-925) * Breton Gospel Book (British Library, MS Egerton 609), Marmoutiers Gospel Book, illuminated manuscript mixing Insular and Carolingian styles produced in Brittany or Tours, western France (late 9th century) * Codex Seidelianus I, Greek language, Greek uncial manuscript of the Gospels containing 252 parchment leaves (9th century) * Irq Bitig or Book of Omens from the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China, the only known complete manuscript text written in the Old Turkic script (9th century) * Gospels of Elisha, Armenian alphabet, Armenian gospels commissioned by Lord Elisha, one of the earliest gospels written in the Armenian language (c. 900) * Coronation Gospels (British Library, Cotton MS Tiberius A.ii), Coronation Gospels, Ottonian art, Ottonian illuminated Gospel book gifted to King Athelstan (late 9th or early 10th centuries) * Testament of Ba, manuscript written in Classical Tibetan, Old Tibetan marking the establishment of Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet and the foundation of the Samye Monastery during the reign of King Trisong Detsen (9th–10th centuries) * Passionarium Hispanicum, illuminated Passional manuscript in Visigothic minuscule from the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña near Burgos, northern Spain, (911 AD) * Ivor Guest, 1st Viscount Wimborne, Guest-Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts, Coutts New Testament, Byzantine illuminated manuscript of the New Testament in Greek, with silver-gilt cover, Constantinople (mid 10th century) * Bald's Leechbook or ''Medicinale Anglicum'', unique Anglo-Saxon manuscript pertaining to medical remedies, diagnoses and charms (mid 10th century) * Benedictional of St. Æthelwold, the most important surviving work of the Anglo-Saxon Winchester School of illumination (963–984) * New Minster Charter, Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscript with gold lettering, commissioned by Æthelwold of Winchester, Bishop Æthelwold and presented to the Winchester Cathedral, New Minster in Winchester by Edgar the Peaceful, King Edgar to commemorate the Benedictine Reform (966) * Lei feng ta scroll, early printed document found walled up in the Leifeng Pagoda in Hangzhou, China (975) * Ramsey Psalter, Anglo-Saxon illuminated psalter made for use at the Benedictine monastery of Ramsey Abbey for its founder Oswald of Worcester, St Oswald (late 10th century) * :fr:Psautier de Bosworth, Bosworth Psalter, oldest English manuscript that includes all of the important texts of the Benedictine Office, from Bosworth Hall (Husbands Bosworth), Bosworth Hall, Leicestershire (late 10th century) * The sole surviving Nowell Codex, manuscript copy of the poem ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...

Beowulf
'', one of four extant Anglo-Saxon poetry manuscripts (975–1025) * List of Hebrew Bible manuscripts, London Codex and Moses Gaster, First Gaster Bible: two of the oldest surviving Hebrew biblical codices, Palestine (region), Palestine and Egypt (10th century)


1000 – 1200 AD

* Illustrated copy of Prudentius's Psychomachia or "Battle of the Soul", the first allegorical work in European literature (late 10th-early 11th centuries) * Seven of the nine surviving manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (10th–12th centuries) * Hemming's Cartulary, manuscript cartulary or collection of charters and other land records, collected by a monk named Hemming (monk), Hemming at Worcester Cathedral around the time of the Norman conquest of England (10th–12th centuries) * Charles Burney (schoolmaster), Burney Gospels, illuminated copy of the Greek Gospels by the Kokkinobaphos Master, once owned by the imperial Comnenus family in Constantinople (10th-12th centuries) * Grimbald Gospels, luxury gospel-book with gold initials and silver decoration made by Eadwig Basan, a monk at Christ Church, Canterbury, named after Grimbald of Saint-Bertin who was recommended in a letter that accompanied the volume to King Alfred the Great by Fulk (archbishop of Reims), Fulk, archbishop of Reims (1012–1023) * Manuscript copy of Liber Scintillarum or Book of Sparks, patristic anthology of biblical sayings in Latin from Rochester Cathedral (1015) * Harley Psalter, earliest of three surviving medieval copies of the Carolingian Utrecht Psalter (1020–1040) * Harleian Library, Harley Echternach Gospels and Egerton Collection, Egerton Echternach Gospels, two lavishly illuminated Gospel Books produced at the Benedictine Abbey of Echternach, Abbey of St Willibrord in Echternach, Luxembourg, (1025-1075) * New Minster Liber Vitae, confraternity book produced in Winchester recording the names of visitors to the Winchester Cathedral, New Minster with a celebrated image of King Cnut the Great and Queen Emma of Normandy (1031) * Encomium Emmae Reginae, lavishly illustrated Latin encomium in honour of Queen Emma of Normandy, consort of kings Æthelred the Unready and Cnut the Great of England, and mother of kings Harthacnut and Edward the Confessor (1041) * Odalricus Peccator Lectionary, illuminated lectionary with gold inscriptions by Odalricus Peccator at Lorsch Abbey, Germany (1000-1050) * Tiberius Psalter and Stowe Psalter, two of four surviving Gallican psalters produced at the New Minster, Winchester in the years around the Norman conquest of England (c.1050) * Theodore Psalter, one of the richest illuminated manuscripts to survive from Byzantium (1066) *Codex of the Lives of the Saints in the Georgian script from the Monastery of the Cross, Holy Cross Monastery, Jerusalem, including unique copies of works by Cyril of Scythopolis and Athanasius of Alexandria (11th century) * Old English Hexateuch, late Anglo-Saxon period translation of the six books of the Hexateuch into Old English, made under the tutelage of Ælfric of Eynsham (11th century) * Giant medieval bibles such as the Arnstein Bible, :fr:Bible de Floreffe, Floreffe Bible, Montpellier Bible, Parc Abbey Bible, Rochester, Kent, Rochester Bible, Stavelot Bible and :de:Frankenthaler Bibel, Worms Bible (11th–12th centuries) * Latin–Old Cornish Glossary, an early Cornish-Latin glossary with the oldest complete text in the Cornish language (11th–12th centuries) * Mar Saba Psalter, Byzantine Book of Psalms with full-page miniatures from the Monastery of Mar Saba near Jerusalem, (1090 AD) * :fr:Beatus de Silos, Silos Apocalypse, Silos Apocalypse, commentary on the Book of Revelation from Santo Domingo de Silos near Burgos, northern Spain (1091–1109) * Préaux Gospels, luxury copy of the Four Gospels produced under the leadership of abbot Richard of Fourneaux, a student of Anselm of Canterbury, Saint Anselm, at the Benedictine Préaux Abbey, abbey of St Pierre in Les Préaux, Préaux, Normandy (early 12th century) * Shaftesbury Psalter, illuminated Book of Psalms made for use at the Benedictine nunnery of Shaftesbury Abbey in Dorset, perhaps originally owned by Queen Adeliza of Louvain, widow of Henry I of England (1125–1150) * :fr:Cartulaire de Quimperlé, Cartulary of Quimperlé from the abbey of the Holy Cross at Quimperlé, important Cartulary, source for the history of Brittany during the Middle Ages (1125–1150) * Melisende Psalter, illuminated manuscript commissioned in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem for Queen Melisende (c.1135) * Gospels of Máel Brigte or Armagh Gospels, illuminated Gospel Book produced by a scribe named Máel Brigte úa Máel Úanaig in Armagh, Ireland (1138–1139) * Leaf from the Eadwine Psalter, one of the most decorated psalters from medieval England, named after the scribe Eadwine, a monk from Canterbury Cathedral (1155–1160) * Gospels of Simeon, gospels written in an early form of the Armenian alphabet, Armenian script or ''Erkatagir'' by a monk named Simeon, collected by the traveller William Burckhardt Barker, William B. Barker (1166) * Fragment of the luxurious Psalter of Henry the Lion with text written in gold on purple parchment and scenes of months and zodiac signs (1168-1189) * Guthlac of Crowland, Guthlac Roll, strip of parchment containing 18 roundels depicting the life of the Anglo-Saxon saint, from Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire (1175–1215) *Winchester Psalter, Romanesque art, Romanesque illuminated psalter made for Henry of Blois, brother of Stephen, King of England, King Stephen (12th century) * The General's Garden (Tangut translation), The General's Garden scroll, unique manuscript translation in the Tangut language and Tangut script, script of a Chinese military text, collected from the abandoned fortress city of Khara-Khoto by Aurel Stein in 1914 (12th century) * :nl:Annalen van Egmond, Annals of Egmond Abbey, the earliest manuscript copy in Latin of the annals from Egmond Abbey, a significant source for the early history of the Netherlands (late 12th/early 13th centuries)


1200 - 1300 AD

* Avag Vank Gospels, lavishly illuminated manuscript of the Four Gospels in the Armenian language, eastern Turkey (1200–01) * Westminster Psalter, illuminated manuscript commissioned by the Abbot of Westminster and the oldest surviving psalter used at Westminster Abbey (c.1200) * Tacuinum Sanitatis, "The Maintenance of Health", a medical digest composed by Ibn Butlan in Arabic for Az-Zahir Ghazi, al-Malik al-Ẓāhir, son of Saladin (1213) * Two first edition copies of the
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
out of 4 extant copies (1215) * Rochester Bestiary, richly illuminated manuscript of a medieval bestiary, a book describing the appearance and habits of familiar and exotic animals, both real and legendary, Rochester, Kent (1220–1230) * Annals of Boyle, Irish medieval chronicle from Holy Trinity Abbey, Lough Key, Trinity Island on Lough Key near Boyle, County Roscommon (1235) * Part of the Oxford-Paris-London Bible moralisée, luxury illuminated manuscript commissioned by Blanche of Castile for Margaret of Provence (1230–45) * William de Brailes, De Brailes Hours, earliest surviving English Book of Hours, once owned by Charles William Dyson Perrins, Charles Dyson Perrins (1240) * Mahzor Vitry, liturgical manuscript written in Ashkenazic script, unique compendium of Jewish prayers for the entire year according to the north French rite and a host of laws on everyday practices (1242) * Felbrigge Psalter, illuminated manuscript with the earliest Opus Anglicanum, embroidered
bookbinding Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book of codex format from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack (signature) is then bound toge ...
on an English book, from Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk (mid 13th century) * Third part of the Chronica Majora or history of the world by Matthew Paris, Benedictine monk and celebrated historian from St Albans Abbey (1254–59) * John Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland, Rutland Psalter, earliest extant example of an English Psalter with extensive marginal imagery, London (1260) * Sumer Is Icumen In, manuscript copy of a musical composition composed at Reading Abbey, oldest known Round (music), musical round yet discovered, with Middle English words (1261–1265) * Chronicles of Mann, medieval Latin manuscript relating the early history of the Isle of Man (1262) * Oscott Psalter, English manuscript with scenes from the Bible and some of the most striking paintings of the period (1265-1270) * Dering Roll, the oldest English roll of arms surviving in its original form (1270–80) * Grandisson Psalter, once owned by John Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter and bequeathed to Isabella, Countess of Bedford, Princess Isabella, eldest daughter of King Edward III (1270–80) * Hispano-Moresque Haggadah, illuminated Passover Haggadah manuscript with 66 full-page illustrations depicting episodes from the Book of Exodus, made in Castile (historical region), Castile, Spain (1280) * Coldingham Breviary, illuminated liturgical book made for Coldingham Priory, Berwickshire (1275–80) * The Owl and the Nightingale, one of the earliest substantial texts to be written in Middle English (1275–1300) * North French Hebrew Miscellany, important Hebrew illuminated manuscript containing a wide range of Hebrew language texts (1278–98) * Alphonso Psalter, ornate illuminated manuscript made for Alphonso, Earl of Chester, Prince Alphonso, son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, for his betrothal to Margaret, daughter of Floris V, Count of Holland, Floris V, Count of Holland and Zeeland (1284) * Collection of Mishnah commentaries by Rabbinic scholar Isaac ben Melchizedek from Siponto, Italy (1287-1288) * Copy of Sultan Walad's Ibtidānamah, said in a note by the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh to be an autograph copy (1298) * Gospel Lectionary of Sainte-Chapelle, illuminated collection of Gospel passages read during mass produced for the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris (late 13th century) *Fécamp Bible, largely intact illuminated bible originally from the Abbey of Fécamp, Normandy (late 13th century) *Copy of Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, Abd al-Raḥmān al-Ṣūfī's ''Kitāb Ṣuwar al-kawākib al-thābitah'', an illustrated description of the 48 classical constellations in Ptolemy's Almagest (13th century) * Chronicle of Melrose, medieval chronicle written by monks at Melrose Abbey with the earliest independent account of the sealing of the
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
(late 13th century) * House of Percy, Percy Psalter-Hours, rare and early example of an illuminated devotional book from York, northern England (late 13th century) * Rare manuscript of a Qur’ān in maghribi script from Al-Andalus, Volume 39 of 60 volumes, originally produced in Granada, Spain (13th century)


1300 – 1400 AD

* One of the Grandes Chroniques de France, once owned by John II of France, vernacular royal compilation of the history of France (1300–99) * Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, Duke of Sussex's German Pentateuch, Hebrew manuscript richly decorated with mythical beasts in the margins, southern Germany (c.1300) * The Gwentian Code of the Welsh Law or Cyfraith Hywel, Book of Cyfnerth, medieval legal manuscript in Welsh language, Welsh produced in Neath, south Wales (1300–25) * :de:Machsor Tripartitum, Tripartite Maḥzor, one of three volumes from a festival prayer book for the Shavuot, Feast of Weeks and Sukot, Feast of the Tabernacles, written in Hebrew in southern Germany (1300–1329) * Breviary of Renaud de Bar, originally owned by Reginald of Bar (bishop of Metz), Reginald of Bar, Bishop of Metz (1302–03) * Mamluk Baibars II, Sultan Baybars II's seven-volume Qur’an written in gold in thuluth script, the earliest dated Qur’an from the Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk period, Cairo (1304–06) * Juz', Part 25 of the Qur’ān commissioned by the Ilkhanate ruler Öljaitü, Sultan Öljaitü, written in a fine gold Muhaqqaq, muhaqqaq script with illuminated frontispiece. Mosul, Iraq (1310–11) * Stowe Breviary, illuminated manuscript breviary from England, providing divine office according to the Sarum Ordinal and calendar (1320–30) * Hours of Saint-Omer, illuminated book of hours produced in Saint-Omer, northern France for the use of Marguerite de Baugé, Marguerite de Beaujeu (1320–30) * Taymouth Hours, illuminated Book of Hours produced in England with unusually rich decoration, named after Taymouth Castle in Scotland where it was kept for centuries (1325–35) * Illuminated manuscript of Roman de Brut in Norman French by Wace, the earliest surviving vernacular chronicle of British history, with the earliest depiction of Stonehenge (1325-50) * Psalter of Queen Philippa, illuminated manuscript probably made as a gift for Philippa of Hainault to mark her marriage to Edward III of England (1328) * Holkham Bible with illustrated collection of biblical and apocryphal stories in Norman French, from Holkham Hall, Norfolk (1327–35) * Regia Carmina, address in verse to Robert of Anjou, King of Naples from the town of Prato in Tuscany, written by :it:Convenevole da Prato, Convenevole da Prato and illuminated by Pacino di Buonaguida (1335–40) * An early manuscript of the Samaritan Pentateuch, containing basic text of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible in the Samaritan script, Damascus, Syria (1339) * :it:Smithfield Decretals, Smithfield Decretals, copy of the glossed Decretales Gregorii IX, Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, renowned for its extraordinary programme of marginal illumination, once owned by St Bartholomew-the-Great church in Smithfield (1340) *Golden Haggadah, :ca:Hagadà de Barcelona, Barcelona Haggadah, Sister Haggadah and Brother Haggadah, four illuminated manuscripts for the Jewish Passover from Catalonia (early 14th century) * Gorleston Psalter, illuminated manuscript containing early music instruction and humorous marginalia (early 14th century) * Queen Mary Psalter, Luttrell Psalter and Howard Psalter and Hours, three lavishly illuminated Gothic manuscripts (early 14th century) * Illustrated copy of ʿAjā'ib al-makhlūqāt wa gharā'ib al-mawjūdāt or "Wonders of Creation" by Zakariya al-Qazwini (early 14th century) * Maastricht Hours, book of hours made in Liège, remarkable for its large number of vibrant illuminations (early 14th century) * Kildare Poems, group of sixteen poems written in an Irish dialect of Middle English, one of the earliest manuscripts in Irish English, Kildare, Ireland (c. 1350) * Serres Tetraevangelion, Gospels, made by Kalist Rasoder for Jakov of Serres and written in the Serbian recension of Church Slavonic (1354) * Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander, the most important medieval Bulgarian manuscript (1355–56) * Robertsbridge Codex, earliest surviving music manuscript written specifically for keyboard, Robertsbridge, East Sussex (1360) * Coronation book of Charles V of France, sumptuous illustrated manuscript recording the rituals of a royal coronation (1365) * Sherborne Missal, one of the finest English examples of International Gothic illuminated manuscripts (1385–1415) * Korean manuscript of volume 32 of the Avatamsaka Sutra, written on gold pigment for a royal patron (1390) * Illustrated Persian miniature, Persian manuscript of three of the five poems from the Hamsa (literature), Khamsa by Khwaju Kermani, Khvājū Kirmānī (1396) * Al-Kashshaf, a commentary on the Qurʻān by al-Zamakhshari (14th century)


1400 – 1500 AD

* Manuscript of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one of the earliest illustrated English literary works (c. 1400) * British Library, Add MS 29987, London Manuscript, a medieval music, medieval Tuscany, Tuscan musical manuscript containing some of the earliest purely instrumental pieces in the Western musical tradition (c. 1400) * The Life and Acts of Lalibela, Ethiopian manuscript of the history of Lalibela (Emperor of Ethiopia), King Lalibela of Lasta (1400) * Lovell Lectionary, illuminated codex painted by John Siferwas, Dominican Order, Dominican friar and illuminator of the Sherborne Missal, commissioned by Baron Lovel, John, Lord Lovell, of Titchmarsh (1400–08) * Copy of British Library, Stowe MS 54 (Histoire ancienne), Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, historical illuminated manuscript recounting tales of the ancient world, especially the Trojan War, the conquests of Alexander the Great and the greatness of ancient Rome (1400-25) * :fr:Heures Egerton, Hours of René of Anjou, illuminated manuscript made in Paris acquired by René of Anjou, René, Duke of Anjou and King of Naples (1405–10) * Great Bible, at over half metre long the largest manuscript of the Bible in the British Library's collection, once owned by Henry IV of England (early 15th century) * :la:Codex Bellunensis, Codex Bellunensis, illustrated florilegia and List of florilegia and botanical codices, botanical codex with 180 full-page painted drawings of plants from Belluno, northern Italy (early 15th century) * One of the earliest copies of the
Canterbury Tales ''The Canterbury Tales'' ( enm, Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conque ...

Canterbury Tales
by Geoffrey Chaucer, perhaps the most influential literary text in Middle English (1410) * Book of the Queen, lavishly decorated collection of works by the poet Christine de Pizan presented to Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen Isabeau of France (1410–14) * Beaufort/Beauchamp Hours, composite book of hours, the main part of which was most likely made for Margaret Beauchamp (1411–43) * Gospel lectionary inscribed in Greek at the St. Marina's Monastery, Monastery of St Marina in Berat, Albania (1413) * Old Hall Manuscript, the largest and most complete source of English sacred music of the late 14th and early 15th centuries (1410–20) * Wardington Manor, Wardington Hours, Hours of the Passion illuminated by an artist from the school of the Bedford Master, Paris (1410-40) * :fr:Bréviaire de Jean sans Peur, Breviary of John the Fearless and Margaret of Bavaria, illuminated manuscript given to the John the Fearless, couple to celebrate their betrothal (1413–19) * Bedford Hours, a richly illustrated late-medieval book of hours once owned by the John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, Duke of Bedford (1410–30) * Psalter of Humphrey of Gloucester, illuminated Book of Psalms belonging to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, uncle to King Henry VI of England (1430–40) * Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor Carol (music), Carol Book, manuscript of music and carols for Holy Week, probably written for St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (1430–44) * The Book of Margery Kempe, the earliest surviving autobiography in the English language (1436) * Tractatus de Herbis, illustrated treatise of medicinal plants, with nearly 500 representations of plants, animals and minerals, originally from Lombardy, northern Italy (1440) * :fr:Heures de Dunois, Dunois Hours, highly decorated French Book of Hours by the Dunois Master, commissioned by Jean de Dunois, Jean d'Orléans, Count of Dunois (1439–50) * Collected commentaries on the Spring and Autumn annals, Print culture, printed document with early use of Kabin font moveable type under the Korean King Sejong, Seoul (1442) * Talbot Shrewsbury Book, large richly-illuminated manuscript presented to Margaret of Anjou from Rouen, France (1444–45) * Illuminated manuscript copy of Dante Alighieri, Dante's Divine Comedy, produced for Alfonso V of Aragon, Alfonso V, king of Aragon, Naples and Sicily, Siena, Italy (1450) * Volume of Poems of Charles of Orleans, illuminated folio of poems written by Charles, Duke of Orléans during his imprisonment in England following the Battle of Agincourt (c.1450) * Leaf from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier, illuminated book of hours commissioned by Étienne Chevalier, treasurer to King Charles VII of France, the only work of the famed illuminator Jean Fouquet in the collection (1452) * Two Gutenberg Bible, Gutenberg or 42-line Bibles, two copies of a Latin Bible printed at Mainz, Germany, the earliest major books printed using mass-produced Movable type, movable metal type in Europe (1450–55) * Mainz Psalter, the second work to be produced with movable type in Europe and the first to experiment with multi-coloured printing, one of 10 extant copies, Mainz, Germany (1457) * Copy of the Bamberg Bible, Bamberg or 36-line Bible, the second moveable-type-printed edition of the Bible from Bamberg, Germany (c. 1458–60) * Rime and Trionfi by Petrarch, illuminated manuscript of poetry once owned by Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga (1444–1483), Francesco Gonzaga, northern Italy (1465) * :de:Mentelin-Bibel, Mentelin Bible, the first bible to be printed in any vernacular language, one of the first edition copies printed by Johann Mentelin in Strasbourg (1466) * Shamakhi anthology of poetry, illustrated by Sharaf al-Dīn Ḥusayn, a royal scribe based at the court of the Shirvanshah Farrukh Yassar in Shirvan, Azerbaijan (1468) * Sanaa Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses, with stylised representations of mountains and fish swimming in the sea outlined in scriptural micrography, Yemen (1469) * Only surviving manuscript copy of
Thomas Malory Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1415 – 14 March 1471) was an English writer, the author or compiler of '' Le Morte d'Arthur'', the classic English-language chronicle of the Arthurian legend The Matter of Britain is the body of Medieval literatu ...
's Le Morte d'Arthur, retelling the legends of
King Arthur King Arthur ( cy, Brenin Arthur, kw, Arthur Gernow, br, Roue Arzhur) was a Legend, legendary Celtic Britons, British leader who, according to Historians in England during the Middle Ages, medieval histories and Romance (heroic literature), ...

King Arthur
and his Knights (1471-1483) * Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, copy of William Caxton's first printed book and the first book printed anywhere in English, from Bruges or Ghent, Belgium (1473) * Constance Gradual, only surviving complete edition of the first Printing press, printed book of music using moveable type, southern Germany (1473) * First and second printed editions of William Caxton's
Canterbury Tales ''The Canterbury Tales'' ( enm, Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conque ...

Canterbury Tales
(1476-1483) * Manuscript copy of Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, Middle English translation by Anthony Woodville of the original book written in Arabic by the medieval Arab scholar al-Mubashshir ibn Fatik (1477) * Hastings Hours,
vellum Vellum is prepared animal skin or "membrane", typically used as a material for writing on. Parchment Parchment is a writing material Writing material refers to the materials that provide the surfaces on which humans use writing instrume ...

vellum
illuminated manuscript with painted miniatures made in the Low Countries for William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, Lord Hastings (1480) * Lisbon Bible, the most accomplished codex of the Portuguese school of medieval List of Hebrew Bible manuscripts, Hebrew illumination (1483) * Alfred Henry Huth, Huth Hours, elaborately illuminated Book of Hours attributed to Simon Marmion, Flanders (1485–90) * Isabella Breviary,
illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a formally prepared document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, con ...
given to Queen Isabella I of Castile, Isabella I by ambassador Francisco de Rojas to commemorate the double marriage of her children and the children of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Maximilian of Austria and Duchess Mary of Burgundy (1497) * Most of the Book of Hours of Louis XII produced by Jean Bourdichon for King Louis XII of France (1498–99) * Luxury illustrated copy of the Roman de la Rose, one of the last Master of the Prayer Books of around 1500, Flemish Master illuminated manuscripts, Bruges (1490–1500) * Two copies of the Khamsa of Nizami illustrated by Tīmurid artist Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād, the most famous of Persian miniature painters (late 15th century) * Ritson Manuscript, Ritson Choirbook, early manuscript source of English carols (late 15th century) * Hikayat Raja-raja Pasai, the oldest known historical chronicle written in the Malay language (15th century) * Križanić Breviary, liturgical manuscript written in Glagolitic script by the Croat monk Ivan Križanić, from the Josef Kalasanz von Erberg, Erberg collection, Croatia (15th century) * Late medieval manuscript copy of the Law of Iceland, Jónsbók, code of laws promulgated in Iceland by Jón Einarsson in 1280, at the instigation of King Magnus VI of Norway, from the collection of Sir Joseph Banks (15th century)


1500 – 1700 AD

* Codex Arundel, one of
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
's notebooks (1480–1518) * Sforza Hours one of the most richly illuminated books of hours of the Renaissance (1490–1520) * Petit Livre d'Amour, manuscript collection of love poems written by :fr:Pierre Sala, Pierre Sala, antiquary and valet de chambre of Louis XII of France (1500) * The Hours of Joanna I of Castile, illuminated manuscript by Gerard Horenbout from the Ghent-Bruges school (1500) * Anne Boleyn's Book of Hours, opulent Book of Hours once owned by Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII of England, with lover's inscriptions (1500) * Nimmatnama-i-Nasiruddin-Shahi, medieval Indian cookbook, written in Persian language with Naskh (script), Naskh script, commissioned by Sultan Ghiyath Shah of the Malwa Sultanate in central India (1500) * Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay, Stuart de Rothesay Book of Hours, illuminated Book of Hours written by Bartolomeo Sanvito and commissioned by Cardinal Marino Grimani with four miniatures by Giulio Clovio (c.1508-1538 AD) * Family tree of Portuguese monarchs, Portuguese Genealogy, illuminated manuscript made for Infante Ferdinand of Portugal, Duke of Guarda, Dom Fernando of Portugal with paintings by Simon Bening and :es:Antonio de Holanda, Antonio de Holanda (1530-34) * One of only three wikt:extant, extant copies of the first edition of the Tyndale Bible, Tynedale New Testament, the first bible to be translated and mass produced in English by William Tyndale (1526) * Diminutive prayer books made for Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, Anne Seymour, Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey; the latter two said to have been taken to the Scaffold (execution site), scaffold at their executions (1536-44) * Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the earliest notebook in the English language of any major poet that has survived (1530-40) * Henry VIII of England, Henry VIII's personal copy of the Great Bible, the first authorised version of the Bible in English (1540) * Tahmasp I, Shah Ṭahmāsb's copy of Nizami Ganjavi's Hamsa (literature), Khamsah (Five Poems) with illustrations of The Prophet Muhammad's Celestial Journey by Sultan Mohammed, Tabriz, Iran (1539–43) * Psalter of Henry VIII, illuminated psalter by Jean Mallard that belonged to Henry VIII of England (1540-50) * Golf book, Golf Book, illuminated Book of Hours manuscript created by Simon Bening in Bruges, Belgium (1540-50) * The Glorification of the Great Goddess, beautiful palm leaf manuscript of the Devimahatmya, copied in Nepal in Classical Newari, Newari script during the reign of King Prana Malla of Bhaktapur (1547) * Triumphs of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Charles V, codex of 12 full page miniature paintings by Giulio Clovio celebrating the victories of the Holy Roman Emperor (1556-75) * Yongle Encyclopedia, 24 volumes of the second edition of the encyclopedia commissioned by the Yongle Emperor, containing the most important texts available at that time, China (1562–72) * Splendor Solis, medical and alchemical treatises attributed to Salomon Trismosin, meticulously painted and highlighted with gold in Germany (1582) * Imperial illuminated copy of the :de:Dārāb-nāma (British Library Or. 4615), Dārāb-nāma in Nastaliq script by Abu Ṭahir Ṭarsusi, originally from the Mughal Library of Emperor Akbar (1585) * Baburnama, Illustrated memoirs of the Mughal Babur, Emperor Bābur and the first volume of Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak's Akbarnamah, both produced for Bābur's grandson Akbar, Lahore, Pakistan (1590) * Illuminated manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami (British Library, Or. 12208), Khamsa of Nizami, lavishly illustrated manuscript created for the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1590-1600) * An incomplete manuscript of the Razmnamah (British Library, Or. 12076), Razmnama, an illustrated Mughal Empire, Mughal translation of the Hindu epic Mahabharata written by Naqib Khan (1598-99) * Vologda-Perm, Russia, Perm Chronicle, chronicle of events in Russian Church Slavonic, important early source for the history of Russia (16th century) * Important music manuscripts for keyboard including Elizabeth Rogers' Virginal Book, The Mulliner Book, My Ladye Nevells Booke and the Susanne van Soldt Manuscript from Holland (16th–17th centuries) * The Book of Sir Thomas More, one of a small number of Elizabethan plays to survive in manuscript form with three pages attributed to William Shakespeare (1601–04) * Rare first edition of Don Quixote, the first modern novel (1604) * Illuminated manuscript of Panchatantra, Anvar-i Suhayli or Lights of Canopus, copied for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir with 36 beautiful miniatures (1604-1614) * Five copies of William Shakespeare's First Folio of plays (1623) * Lavishly decorated scroll of Chapter 8 of the
Lotus Sutra The Lotus Sūtra () is one of the most influential and venerated Buddhist Mahāyāna sūtras The Mahāyāna Sūtras are a broad genre of Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social system, ...
, presented by Emperor Go-Mizunoo to the Nikkō Tōshō-gū, Tōshō-gū Shrine in Nikkō. Japan (1636) * Kaifeng Torah Scroll, sheepskin scroll with 239 columns of text in Hebrew, one of only seven complete scrolls to have survived from the Kaifeng Jews, Synagogue in Kaifeng, China (1643–63) * Second edition of the Bay Psalm Book, earliest printed book in British North America (1647) * Most volumes of the Mewar Ramayana, illustrated manuscript with 450 paintings of the Hindu Epic, commissioned by Acarya Jasvant for the library of Jagat Singh I of the Rajput kingdom of Udaipur State, Mewar in Rajasthan (1649–53) * Ethiopian manuscript collections, Ethiopian manuscript of Canonical gospels, The Four Gospels, richly illustrated manuscript displaying European artistic influences, Gondar, Ethiopia (1664–65)


1700 AD – present

* The Revelation of Saint John, profusely illustrated manuscript with 126 paintings, Gondar, Ethiopia (1700–30) * One of only two extant copies of Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, the oldest printed edition of an anthology of English nursery rhymes (1744) * Rare edition of the Qianlong Emperor's 'Eulogy on Shenyang, Mukden', poem written in thirty-two seal-script forms in both Manchu language, Manchu and Chinese language, Chinese (1748) * Luxury Sinhala script, Sinhalese manuscript containing bilingual Atthakatha, Buddhist scriptures incised in gold on palm leaves, Sri Lanka (1756) * Copy of the poetical works in the Chaghatai language of Sultan Husayn Bayqara and the Mughal Emperor Babur (1776) * Menggu Ziyun, unique copy of a 14th-century rime dictionary of Chinese written in the 'Phags-pa script (18th century) * The Acts and Life of Saint Tekle Haymanot, profusely illustrated manuscript with the only known example of a metal cover with carvings of figures and the cross outside of Ethiopia (18th century AD) * Serat Selarasa, one of the earliest finely-illustrated Javanese script, Javanese manuscripts known, retelling the adventures of Selarasa, prince of Champa and his two brothers, originally owned by Colonel Colin Mackenzie (1804 AD) * Anthology of poetry by the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar (early 19th century AD) * Copy of Taj al-Salatin or The Crown of Kings, one of the finest illuminated Malayic languages, Malay manuscripts known, Penang (1824) * Rare copy of The Birds of America by John James Audubon, containing illustrations of a wide variety of birds from the United States (1827–38) * Rani Jindan's Prayer Book, luxurious manuscript written in the Gurmukhi script produced for Maharani Jind Kaur, Regent of the Sikh Empire (1828–30) * Manuscript copy in Arabic script of the Rawz al-jinan wa ruh al-jinan, Meadows of Paradise by Gidado dan Laima, close associate of Usman dan Fodio, founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, northern Nigeria (1840) * Delhi Book or Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi, album with collection of 120 paintings mostly by the Mughal painter Mazhar Ali Khan (painter), Mazhar Ali Khan, commissioned by Sir Thomas Metcalfe (1844) * Emancipation Proclamation, one of 27 surviving copies of the Charles Godfrey Leland, Leland-George Henry Boker, Boker "Authorized Edition" printed by Frederick Leypoldt, USA (1863) * Pageant of King Mindon manuscript, the finest example of Burmese manuscript art before it became influenced by Western artistic conventions, depicting the procession of King Mindon and his court to dedicate the Kyauktawgyi Buddha Temple (Mandalay), Kyauk-daw-gyi Buddha image in Mandalay (1865) * Imperial manuscript copy of the Tale of Kiều, Vietnamese Epic (genre), epic poem written in Chữ Nôm, Sino-Vietnamese script illustrated with scenes from the story, once owned by the French orientalist Paul Pelliot, (1894) * The original hand-written lyrics of Beatles songs including ''The Fool on the Hill'', ''A Hard Day's Night (song), A Hard Day's Night'', ''Help! (song), Help!'', ''In My Life'', ''I Want To Hold Your Hand'', ''Michelle (song), Michelle'', ''She Said She Said'', ''Strawberry Fields Forever'', ''Ticket to Ride (song), Ticket to Ride'', and ''Yesterday (Beatles song), Yesterday'' from the Hunter Davies collection (1960s)


Maps, music, manuscripts and literature

* Important maps such as the Anglo-Saxon Map and Psalter world map, two early medieval Mappa mundi from England, one of the earliest maps of Great Britain by the Benedictine monk Matthew Paris, World Map by Ranulf Higden, a Venetian hand-written re-creation of Claudius Ptolemy's British Library, Harley MS 3686, Geographia, the Pinelli–Walckenaer Atlas, Pinelli–Walckenaer and Cornaro Atlas, Cornaro Atlases of Portolan chart, Portolan charts from Venice, World Map by Henricus Martellus Germanus, the first map showing the Dragon's Tail (peninsula), Dragon's Tail meaning the Indian Ocean was not landlocked, the Contarini–Rosselli map, first printed map showing the new world, several hand-produced Dieppe maps produced for wealthy Renaissance patrons including one by Pierre Desceliers, the Queen Mary I of England, Queen Mary Atlas made by Portuguese map-maker Diogo Homem, one of only two copies of a Americae Sive Quartae Orbis Partis Nova Et Exactissima Descriptio, Map of America by Diego Gutiérrez (cartographer), Diego Gutiérrez, part of a Mercator 1569 world map by Gerardus Mercator, a decorative Atlas drawn by the Portuguese cartographer Fernão Vaz Dourado, the Atlas of England and Wales made by Christopher Saxton for William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Lord Burghley, the earliest extant Chinese Globe made by Nicolò Longobardo and Manuel Dias the Younger, Manuel Dias, the Klencke Atlas, the largest atlas in the world, a rare copy of the Velarde map of the Philipines and a copy of the Mitchell Map of North America (11th–18th centuries) * Original manuscripts of musical scores including Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach's ''The Well-Tempered Clavier'' and ''Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5, Wo soll ich fliehen hin'', Michael William Balfe, Balfe's ''The Bohemian Girl'', the Sketch (music), sketchbook of Beethoven's ''Symphony No. 6 (Beethoven), 6th Symphony'', his ''Violin Sonata No. 8 (Beethoven), Violin Sonata No. 8'', ''Lied aus der Ferne'' and a Fair copy (music), fair copy of the Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven), 9th Symphony, Johannes Brahms, Brahms's ''Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 119 (Brahms), Rhapsodie in Eb (op. 119, no. 4) for Piano'' and ''Zigeunerlieder (Brahms), Zigeunerlieder'', Benjamin Britten, Britten's ''A Midsummer Night's Dream (opera), A Midsummer Night's Dream'',''The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra'' and ''War Requiem'', Frédéric Chopin, Chopin's ''Barcarolle (Chopin), Barcarolle in F sharp major for piano, op 60'' and ''Polonaises Op. 40 (Chopin), Polonaises Op. 40'', Claude Debussy, Debussy's ''Brouillards'', ''La chute de la maison Usher (opera), La chute de la maison Usher'' and ''Fantaisie for piano and orchestra (Debussy), Fantaisie for piano and orchestra'', Frederick Delius, Delius's ''Brigg Fair'', ''On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring'' and ''Piano Concerto (Delius), Piano Concerto in C minor'', Edward Elgar, Elgar's ''Enigma Variations'', ''Pomp and Circumstance Marches'' and ''Violin Concerto (Elgar), Violin Concerto in B minor'', Gilbert and Sullivan's ''The Gondoliers'', ''Patience (opera), Patience'' and ''Ruddigore'', Edvard Grieg, Grieg's ''Peer Gynt Suite'', Handel's ''Messiah (Handel), Messiah'', ''Music for the Royal Fireworks'', ''Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne'' and ''Zadok the Priest'', Haydn's Symphony's ''Symphony No. 40 (Haydn), No. 40'', ''Symphony No. 95 (Haydn), No. 95'', ''Symphony No. 96 (Haydn), No. 96'' and ''Symphony No. 97 (Haydn), No. 97'', Holst's ''The Planets'', Franz Liszt, Liszt's ''Christus (Liszt), Christus'', Mahler's ''Symphony No. 9 (Mahler), Symphony No. 9'' and ''Ulrich'' from ''Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Mahler), Des Knaben Wunderhorn'', Mendelssohn's ''Symphony No. 1 (Mendelssohn), Symphony No. 1'', ''A Midsummer Night's Dream (Mendelssohn), A Midsummer Night's Dream'' and ''String Quartet in E-flat major (1823) (Mendelssohn), String Quartet in E flat'', Mozart's ''Adagio and Fugue in C minor (Mozart), Adagio and Fugue in C minor'', ''God is our Refuge'', ''Horn Concerto No. 3 (Mozart), Horn Concerto No. 3'', ''String Quintet No. 6 (Mozart), String Quintet No. 6'', his last ten string quartets including ''String Quartet No. 19 (Mozart), No. 19'' and the thematic catalogue of all his works from 1784 to 1791, Jacques Offenbach, Offenbach's ''Fantasio (opera), Fantasio'', Henry Purcell, Purcell's ''My Heart is Inditing'', Maurice Ravel, Ravel's ''Boléro'', Schubert's ''An die Musik'', ''Mass No. 3 (Schubert), Mass No. 3'' and ''Piano Sonata in G major, D 894 (Schubert), Piona Sonata in G Major'', Gioachino Rossini, Rossini's ''List of compositions by Gioachino Rossini, Il pianto delle muse in morte di Lord Byron'' and part of ''Ivanhoé'', Schumann's ''Piano Sonata No. 3 (Schumann), Piano Sonata No. 3'', Richard Strauss's ''Die schweigsame Frau'', Igor Stravinsky, Stravinsky's ''Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra'' and part of ''The Firebird'', Vaughan Williams's ''The Lark Ascending (Vaughan Williams), The Lark Ascending'' and ''Pastoral Symphony (Vaughan Williams), Pastoral Symphony'', Giuseppe Verdi, Verdi's ''Attila (opera), Atilla'' and part of ''La traviata'', Richard Wagner, Wagner's ''Die Feen'', ''Der fliegende Holländer'', ''Polonia (Wagner), Polonia'', and ''List of compositions by Richard Wagner, Overture in D, Rule Britannia'', William Vincent Wallace, Wallaces's ''Love's Triumph'', Anton Webern, Webern's ''List of compositions by Anton Webern, Sechs Stücke für grosses Orchester'', and many more (18th–20th centuries) * Autograph letters, diaries, notes and other manuscript material from famous people such as Marie Antoinette, W H Auden, Samuel Beckett, Hector Berlioz, Bertold Brecht, Catherine the Great, Charles I of England, Winston Churchill, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Baudelaire, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Isambard Brunel, Captain James Cook, Oliver Cromwell, Charles Darwin, Daniel Defoe, René Descartes, John Dryden, Albrecht Dürer, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Elizabeth I of England, E M Forster, Michael Faraday, Benjamin Franklin, Sigmund Freud, Galileo, Mahatma Gandhi, Garibaldi, Edward Gibbon, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Goethe, Adolf Hitler, William Hogarth, Victor Hugo, Henrik Ibsen, Henry James, John Maynard Keynes, Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, Lord Kitchener, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, Lafayette, D.H.Lawrence, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Gottfried Leibniz, Lenin, Abraham Lincoln, Carl Linnaeus, David Livingstone, Louis XVI of France, John Locke, Martin Luther, Karl Marx, Michelangelo, John Milton, Sir Thomas More, Mussolini, Horatio Nelson, George Orwell, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sir Isaac Newton, Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon, Florence Nightingale, Laurence Olivier, Louis Pasteur, Alexander Pope, Ezra Pound, Sir Walter Raleigh, Grigori Rasputin, Rasputin, Rembrandt, Robert the Bruce, Robespierre, Franklin D Roosevelt, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Captain Scott, Mary Shelley, Adam Smith, George Stephenson, Jonathan Swift, Tchaikovsky, Tolkien, Alan Turing, Jules Verne, Voltaire, George Washington, John Wesley, Walt Whitman, Sir Christopher Wren, and many others (14th–20th centuries) * Autograph manuscripts of famous novels and poetry from literature including ''
History of England England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the ...
'' and ''Persuasion (novel), Persuasion'' by
Jane Austen Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry The landed gentry, or the ''gentry'', is a l ...

Jane Austen
, ''The Drowned World'', ''Empire of the Sun'' and ''High-Rise (novel), High Rise'' by J. G. Ballard, ''Heartbreak House'' and ''Pygmalion (play), Pygmalion'' by George Bernard Shaw, the Notebook of William Blake (also known as the Rossetti Manuscript) with many of his most famous poems, ''
Jane Eyre ''Jane Eyre'' (originally published as ''Jane Eyre: An Autobiography'') is a novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonficti ...

Jane Eyre
'', ''Shirley (novel), Shirley'' and ''Villette (novel), Villette'' by
Charlotte Brontë Charlotte Brontë (, commonly ; 21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature Literature wr ...

Charlotte Brontë
, ''Gondal (fictional country), Gondal poetry'' by Emily Brontë, ''Pan is Dead'', ''The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point'' and ''Sonnets from the Portuguese'' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ''The Ring and the Book'' by Robert Browning, ''The Cotter's Saturday Night'' and ''A Red, Red Rose'' by Robert Burns, ''Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'' and ''Don Juan (poem), Don Juan'' by Lord Byron, ''Crewe manuscript, Kubla Khan'' and the ''The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'' by Samuel Coleridge, ''The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter'', ''The Adventure of the Retired Colourman'' and the ''Brigadier Gerard'' stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ''The Rescue (Conrad novel), The Rescue'', ''Suspense'' and part of ''Romance (novel), Romance'' by Joseph Conrad, ''Une ténébreuse affaire, A Murky Business'' by Honoré de Balzac, ''
Nicholas Nickleby ''Nicholas Nickleby'' or ''The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby'' (or also ''The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Containing a Faithful Account of the Fortunes, Misfortunes, Uprisings, Downfallings, and Complete Career of the ...

Nicholas Nickleby
'' and ''The Pickwick Papers'' by
Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian e ...

Charles Dickens
, part of ''Humiliated and Insulted'' by Fyodor Dostoevsky, ''The Forty-Five Guardsmen'' by Alexandre Dumas, ''Adam Bede'', ''Middlemarch'', ''The Mill on the Floss'' and ''Silas Marner'' by George Eliot, ''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats'' by T.S. Eliot, ''Octopussy and The Living Daylights, The Living Daylights'' and ''The Fabulous Pay-Off'' by Ian Fleming, part of ''The Counterfeiters (novel), The Counterfeiters'' by André Gide, part of ''The Wind in the Willows'' by Kenneth Grahame, ''The Captain and the Enemy'' by Graham Greene, ''Tess of the d'Urbervilles'' by Thomas Hardy, ''The Marble Faun'' by Nathaniel Hawthorne, ''The Masque of Queens'' by Ben Jonson, ''Finnegans Wake'' and part of ''A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and ''Ulysses (novel), Ulysses by James Joyce, ''Ode to a Nightingale'' and ''Isabella, or the Pot of Basil'' by John Keats, ''
Just So Stories ''Just So Stories for Little Children'' is a 1902 collection of origin stories by the British author Rudyard Kipling. Considered a classic of children's literature Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, ma ...
'', ''Kim (novel), Kim'' and ''The Jungle Book'' by
Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily Daily or The Daily may refer to: Journalism * Daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical pub ...

Rudyard Kipling
, ''History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipplepopple'' by Edward Lear, ''Dulce et Decorum est'' by Wilfred Owen, ''The Birthday Party (play), The Birthday Party'' and ''No Man's Land (play), No Man's Land'' by Harold Pinter, ''The Deep Blue Sea (play), The Deep Blue Sea'' by Terrence Rattigan, ''Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man'' by Siegfried Sassoon, ''Kenilworth (novel), Kenilworth'' by Sir Walter Scott, ''Hymn to Intellectual Beauty'', ''The Masque of Anarchy'', ''Mont Blanc (poem), Mont Blanc'' and ''Queen Mab (poem), Queen Mab'' by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Percy Shelley, ''The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Tristram Shandy'' by Laurence Sterne, ''Dracula'' (theatrical version) by Bram Stoker, ''La Fille du Policeman'' by Algernon Charles Swinburne, A.C. Swinbrune ''The Charge of the Light Brigade (poem), The Charge of the Light Brigade'' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lord Tennyson, ''The Wolves and the Lamb'' by William Makepeace Thackeray, part of ''The Kreutzer Sonata'' by Leo Tolstoy, ''The Ballad of Reading Gaol'', ''The Importance of Being Earnest'', ''An Ideal Husband'' and ''De Profundis (letter), De Profundis'' by Oscar Wilde, ''
Mrs Dalloway ''Mrs Dalloway'' (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post–First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviate ...
'' by
Virginia Woolf Adeline Virginia Woolf (; ; 25 January 1882 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist literature, modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of Stream of consciousness (narrative mode), ...

Virginia Woolf
, ''I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'', ''My Heart Leaps Up'' and ''Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802, Upon Westminster Bridge'' by William Wordsworth, and many others (17th–20th centuries) * Manuscript of '' Alice's Adventures Under Ground'' by
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and its sequel ''Through the Looking-Glass'' ...

Lewis Carroll
(given to the British Library by a consortium of American bibliophiles "in recognition of Britain's courage in facing Hitler before America came into the war") (1865)


Collections of manuscripts


Foundation collections

The three foundation collections are those which were brought together to form the initial manuscript holdings of the British Museum in 1753: * Cotton library, Cotton manuscripts *Harleian Library, Harley manuscripts *Hans Sloane, Sloane manuscripts


Other named collections

Other "named" collections of manuscripts include (but are not limited to) the following: * Arundel Manuscripts * Egerton Collection, Egerton manuscripts * King's manuscripts, British Library, King's manuscripts * Lansdowne manuscripts * Royal manuscripts, British Library, Royal manuscripts * Stefan Zweig Collection * Stowe manuscripts * Henry Yates Thompson, Yates Thompson manuscripts Other collections, not necessarily manuscripts: * Lawrence Durrell Collection


Additional manuscripts

The Additional Manuscripts series covers manuscripts that are not part of the named collections, and contains all other manuscripts donated, purchased or bequeathed to the Library since 1756. The numbering begins at 4101, as the series was initially regarded as a continuation of the collection of Sloane manuscripts, which are numbered 1 to 4100.


Chief executives and other employees

British Library employees undertake a wide variety of roles including curatorial, business and technology. Curatorial roles include or have included librarians, curators, digital preservationists, archivists and keepers. In 2001 the senior management team was established and consisted of Lynne Brindley (chief executive), Ian Millar (director of finance and corporate resources), Natalie Ceeney (director of operations and services), Jill Finney (director of strategic marketing and communications) and Clive Field (director of scholarship and collections). This was so the problems of a complex structure, a mega hybrid library, global brand and investment in digital preservation could be managed better Chief Executives * 1973 to 1984: Sir Harry Hookway, first Chief Executive * 1991 to 2000: Brian Lang * 2000 to 2012: Dame Lynne Brindley * 2012 to present: Roly Keating Chief Librarians * 2013 to 2018: Caroline Brazier (librarian), Caroline Brazier, first Chief Librarian * from September 2018: Liz Jolly"Jolly to succeed Brazier as BL's chief librarian"
23 May 2018 by Benedicte Page, ''The Bookseller''


See also

* British Library of Political and Economic Science, the main library of the LSE * British literature * Books in the United Kingdom * The National Archives (United Kingdom), an amalgamation of the Public Record Office, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information and Office of Public Sector Information, Her Majesty's Stationery Office


References

; Citations


Further reading

* Alan Day: ''Inside the British Library''. London: Library Association, 1998, * Phil Harris: ''A History of the British Museum Library, 1753–1973'', London: British Library, 1998, . * Philip Howard: ''The British Library, a treasure of knowledge''. London: Scala, 2008, * * Colin St John Wilson: ''The Design and Construction of the British Library''. London: British Library, 1998, * Robert Proctor (bibliographer), Robert Proctor ''A Critical Edition of the Private Diaries of Robert Proctor: the life of a librarian at the British Museum''; edited by J. H. Bowman. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, * Michael Leapman: ''The Book of the British Library''. London: British Library, 2012, * * Francis, Sir Frank, ed. (1971) ''Treasures of the British Museum''. 360 pp. London: Thames & Hudson; ch. 6: manuscripts, by T. S, Patties; ch. 9: oriental printed books and manuscripts, by A. Gaur; ch. 12: printed books, by H. M. Nixon *Barker, Nicolas (1989) ''Treasures of the British Library''; compiled by Nicolas Barker and the curatorial staff of the British Library. New York: Harry N. Abrams


External links

*
British Library Images Online

Explore the British Library
(main catalogue; includes newspapers)
The King's Library
contained within The British Library
The World's Earliest Dated Printed Book

The Business & IP Centre homepage

British Library Learning homepage

British Library newspapers 1800–1900 online

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Timelines: sources from history
an interactive history timeline that explores collection items chronologically, from medieval times to the present day * * 1975– . {{Authority control British Library, 1973 establishments in the United Kingdom Archives in London British Museum Charities based in London Libraries in London Deposit libraries Exempt charities British digital libraries Government buildings in England Libraries established in 1973 Libraries in the London Borough of Camden Library buildings completed in 1997 Literary archives Museums in the London Borough of Camden Museums sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport National libraries, United Kingdom Non-departmental public bodies of the United Kingdom government Articles containing video clips Grade I listed buildings in the London Borough of Camden Grade I listed library buildings MJ Long buildings Colin St John Wilson buildings