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Graeco-Roman antiquity, through the middle for the 2nd millennium BC towards the end of this 6th century AD.

Medieval and early modern Britain

British historical and manuscripts that are literary 600–1600

Modern British history

British history from 1600 to the current

Contemporary Britain

Collections reflecting contemporary British society and culture

Literature and drama

Collections relating to English literature and British theatre

The British Library collection of maps, plans and views is one of the largest into the global world, numbering some 4.5 million

The British Library has a world-famous collection of music

Arts and humanities

Collections for the study of history, culture and society

Social sciences

Research resources on politics, economics, law, sociology and other subjects.

Digital scholarship

Undertake innovative research with our digital collections and data

Law and legal studies

Historical and resources that are current the analysis of law, legislation https://essaywritersite.com/buy-essay-online and society

Family history

Primary sources and reference material for family history and genealogy research

Manuscripts Reading Room

The Manuscripts Reading Room is the point that is enquiry the Library’s western language manuscript collections (i.e. published by hand, not printed). The collection includes literary, historical manuscripts and private papers.

  • Find home elevators the shelves concerning the British Library’s number of western manuscripts and those held elsewhere
  • Access online databases and journals that are electronic books relating to archives and manuscripts
  • Order collection items to the Reading Room via our Explore Archives & Manuscripts Catalogue

Several of our manuscripts may require a Letter of Introduction, or may have other Access Conditions.

We provide free Discovery and 1-2-1 Sessions to assist you result in the use that is best for the Library’s collections.

For enquiries, please contact the Manuscripts Reference Team

Blog posts

The Theatre Censors Part 2: William Bodham Donne

William Bodham Donne became Examiner of Plays in 1857. He officially assumed the role after the death of John Mitchell Kemble, but Donne had already been plays that are examining his behalf since 1849. Donne was dedicated to his job and.

James Knight’s “History of Jamaica”

We are delighted to share this website by Jamie Gemmell. Jamie is a third year undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship to produce a partial digital edition of James Knight’s “History of Jamaica”.

New Anglo-Saxon acquisition on display

Earlier this current year, the Library that is british was to get a leaf of an Anglo-Saxon benedictional (a service book utilized by a bishop). This manuscript was of great significance for at the time we reported that, despite its fragmentary nature.

Writing Wyatt

Have you ever wondered how a 16th-century poet gathered their works together? A writer with an eye to posterity may have followed the example of Sir Thomas Wyatt (c. 1503–1542), poet, ambassador and lover that is rumoured of Boleyn. In the.

Case studies

Exploring how the Anglo-Saxons used manuscripts to see Rome from afar.

Examining the working life of a twentieth-century scientist through the archive of John Maynard Smith.

AHRC Innovation Placement Fellow

Investigating constructions of identity when you look at the works and archive associated with writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

The British Library houses among the world’s greatest collections of illuminated manuscripts, and Janet Backhouse has drawn on this resource that is rich make an array of outstanding examples that span over 800 several years of medieval book production.


A History of the written book in 100 Books (hardback)

From inscriptions on tombs towards the first writings on papyrus; from scrolls into the bound that is first books in Roman times.

Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives in the Ancient Biblical Manuscript

Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the whole world.

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