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The British Library Bringing knowledge to life: The British Library Annual Report and Accounts 2007/08
Service in the Reading Rooms
Seats available for users at 31 March 2008 1 Reader desks 2Other provision
Humanities Floor 1 and 2 Reading Rooms 436 85
Rare Books and Music Reading Room 293 74
Maps Reading Room 49 20
Asian & African Studies Reading Room (formerly known as Oriental and India Office Reading Room) 73 52
Manuscripts Reading Room 72 24
Philatelic Collections 1 0
Science Reading Rooms 128 51
Business and IP Centre 32 77
Social Sciences Reading Room 50 27
Newspapers (Colindale) 77 69
Boston Spa Reading Room 76 18
TOTAL 1,287 497

Notes

1 This figure does not include temporary seats that were made available to Readers during the Easter 2008 busy period.

2 This includes seats provided at the British Library Integrated Catalogue screens, electronic database terminals, microform readers and carrels (the individual study booths in the Reading Rooms).

Bibliographic services
Records in British Library catalogues and databases at 31 March 2008 2007/08 2006/07
British Library Integrated Catalogue 1, 2 12,243,857 11,857,089
Access to archives 2, 3 593,338 593,338
Asia, Pacific & Africa Collections – Japanese and Chinese 2, 4 58,923 55,414
Allied and Complementary Medicine (AMED) 219,959 208,372
British National Bibliography (BNB) 2,681,836 2,580,606
Sound Archive Catalogue 2 3,102,434 3,076,215
English Short Title Catalogue 2 473,591 469,268
Incunable Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) 2 29,813 29,764
Electronic table of contents 2, 5 32,787,442 30,264,915
International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) UK Centre 94,202 90,461
Manuscripts 2 809,722 801,091
Newspapers 2 56,049 53,198
Register of Preservation Surrogates 215,095 213,794
TOTAL 53,366,261 50,293,525

Notes

1Number of unique records. A project to remove any duplication is ongoing.

2Available from the Library’s website.

3Conversion of printed catalogues to electronic versions for inclusion on the Access to Archives website hosted by the National Archives, was completed in 2006/07 and therefore this figure has remained the same in 2007/08. A new system is currently being developed to include new catalogues online via the Library’s website.

4All other Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection material, except for Japanese and Chinese material, is included in the British Library Integrated Catalogue.

5A database listing articles and conference papers by title, derived from the top 20,000 research journals. The database is available through British Library Direct and to higher education through zetoc.mimas.ac.uk.

6The total does not represent the number of unique records. There is significant overlap between some files e.g. British National Bibliography and British Library Integrated Catalogue.

Collection development
Collection Holdings at 31 March 2008 2007/08 2006/07
Monographs 1 13,706,861 13,758,905
Serial titles (all) 2 828,928 879,320
Newspaper titles (all) 3 - 56,335
Manuscripts (single and volumes) 341,949 327,560
India Office records 4 452,150 392,013
Philatelic items 8,261,791 8,261,099
Cartographic items 4,335,542 4,330,660
Music scores 1,601,330 1,597,304
Sound discs 1,430,899 1,399,027
Sound tape items 243,768 242,227
Videos 30,747 29,200
Prints and drawings 33,041 32,779
Photographs 289,891 277,662
Patent specifications 62,508,920 60,602,725
Reports in microform 10,288,915 10,257,901
Theses 164,295 160,467
TOTAL 104,519,027 102,605,184

Notes

1 The figure for monographs is based on the number of records in the relevant catalogues. This figure includes an estimate of items covered by card catalogues. In 2007/08 the Library’s Union Catalogue of Books card catalogue was successfully merged into the British Library Integrated Catalogue. This process allowed the elimination of a significant amount of duplicated content and accounts for the reduced reporting of monograph holdings.

2 The figure for serials titles is based on the number of records in the relevant catalogues. Changes of title are therefore counted as separate titles. This figure includes an estimate of items covered by card catalogues. A significant project has been undertaken to de-duplicate serial holdings. This rationalised database more accurately reflects the number of unique titles held.

3 Newspapers have been migrated into Aleph in 2007/08 and are now included within the serial titles total.

4 The archives of the India Office (1858–1947) and its predecessors, including the East India Company (1600–1858).

Website usage
Use of www.bl.uk 2007/08 2006/07
Unique hosts served 1 6,060,362 4,973,782
Successful requests for pages 2 69,788,291 60,938,371

Notes

1Unique hosts served is the best approximation available to the number of individual users of the website.

2 The number of pages of all types viewed on the website. Every landing on every page is counted in this figure.

Storage
Kilometres of shelving and percentage occupied 2007/08 2006/07
Working capacity: linear km 1, 2 655.0 654.5
Extent of collection: linear km 641.4 630.2
Percentage occupied 3 97.92% 96.27%

Notes

1 Working capacity represents the linear length of the solid stock, plus the associated growth spaces without which the collection could not be used and added to effectively.

2 During 2007/08 an additional 0.5 linear kms of shelving was installed bringing the working capacity to 655 linear kms.

3 The Library’s new high-density store at Boston Spa will be completed in 2008/09 and will provide an additional 260 linear kms of storage.

Preservation
Preservation funding 2007/08 2006/07
  £000 £000
Grant in Aid 6,094 6,106
Donations/external funds 1 45 583
Sales income 251 242
TOTAL 6,390 6,931

Items preserved 2007/08 2006/07
Conservation and/or rebinding 2 5,460 3,538
New binding 2 36,330 49,650
Minor repairs 3 7,845 2,029
Boxing/other work 9,187 10,669
Preservation microfilming 4 18,042 15,481
TOTAL 76,864 81,367

Preservation microfilming 5 2007/08 2006/07
Newspapers: frames of film 18,702,845 15,653,359
Books, periodicals, record volumes, manuscripts: frames of film 1,367,790 1,568,833
TOTAL 20,070,635 17,222,192

Notes

1 There have been no significant external funds received for preservation in 2007/08 compared to previous years when large sums of money were received for the Codex Sinaiticus and from the Mellon Foundation.

2 Fluctuations in figures are due to the normal variations which occur annually when treating a wide range of non-standard items with a varying resource.

3 Minor repairs figures have risen due to an increase in the funding of this work in 2007/08 at Boston Spa.

4 This figure is the approximate number of volumes equivalent to the frames shown under the heading ‘preservation microfilming’.

5 One frame equates to one camera exposure. These generally represent either a single or double page of a monograph, newspaper or periodical. For most programmes, a negative, positive and duplicate are taken of each page. Consequently the number of frames shown does not represent the number of pages for which surrogate copies have been made.

  2007/08 2006/07
Monographs 111,567 97,144
Serial issues 271,353 283,180
Maps and atlases 2,562 2,078
Music scores 1,944 2,015
Newspaper issues 149,649 151,903
Playscripts 276 297
TOTAL 537,351 536,617
Serial titles received 36,925 38,384
Claims for items not automatically deposited 259,867 240,810

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