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The British Library The Knowledge Network: The British Library Annual Report and Accounts 2008/09
Service in the Reading Rooms
Seats available for users at 31 March 2009 Reader desks Other provision 1
Humanities Floor 1 and 2 Reading Rooms
436
85
Rare Books & Music Reading Room
293
67
Maps Reading Room
49
20
Asian & African Studies Reading Room (formerly known as Oriental and India Office Reading Room)
83
48
Manuscripts Reading Room
72
21
Philatelic Collections
1
0
Science Reading Rooms
128
58
Business and IP Centre
100
58
Social Sciences Reading Room
50
27
Newspapers (Colindale)
77
77
Boston Spa Reading Room
76
16
TOTAL
1,365
477

Notes

1This 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 2009 2008/09 2007/08
British Library Integrated Catalogue 1, 2
12,506,391
12,243,857
Access to archives 2, 3
593,338
593,338
Asia, Pacific & Africa Collections – Japanese and Chinese 2, 4
63,621
58,923
Allied and Complementary Medicine (AMED)
230,091
219,959
British National Bibliography (BNB)
2,794,006
2,681,836
Sound Archive Catalogue 2
3,134,287
3,102,434
English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)2
477,300
473,591
Incunable Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) 2
29.993
29,813
Electronic table of contents 2, 5
35,253,510
32,787,442
International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) UK Centre
125,909
94,202
Manuscripts 2
818,037
809,722
Newspapers 2,6
55,761
56,049
Register of Preservation Surrogates
217,967
215,095
TOTAL7
56,300,211
53,366,261

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 2008/09.

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 decrease in 2008/09 is due to some titles previously included in the count of newspaper records have been recategorised as serials.

7The 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 2009 2008/09 2007/08
Monographs 1
13,735,633
13,706,861
Serial titles (all) 2
826,112
828,928
Manuscripts (single and volumes)
347,263
341,949
India Office records 4
452,175
452,150
Philatelic items
8,265,391
8,261,791
Cartographic items
4,343,842
4,335,542
Music scores
1,604,779
1,601,330
Sound discs
1,452,997
1,430,899
Sound tape items
244,494
243,768
Digital Audio Files4
14,843
7,732
Videos
32,029
30,747
Prints and drawings
33,060
33,041
Photographs
294,220
289,891
Patent specifications5
58,892,064
62,508,920
Reports in microform
10,330,059
10,288,915
Theses
171,627
164,295
TOTAL
101,040,588
104,526,759

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.

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

4 Digital audio files are now used extensively and have largely taken over from sound tape items.

5 The reduction in 2008/09 is due to the de-accessioning of pre-2003 paper based US patents. Access to both paper and electronic copies of these specifications is available at the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA), Washington.

Website usage
Use of www.bl.uk 2008/09 2007/08
Unique hosts served 1
6,211,722
6,060,362
Successful requests for pages 2
77,273,030
69,788,291

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 2008/09 2007/08
Working capacity: linear km 1
655.0
655.0
Extent of collection: linear km2
648.4
641.4
Percentage occupied 3
99.00%
97.92%

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 2008/09 the gross increase in the extent of the material acquired by the Library was 11.5 linear km. The net increase in the extent of the collection was reduced to 7 linear km through the de-accessioning of material in line with British Library Board policy.

3 The Library's new high-density store at Boston Spa was completed in 2008/09 and will provide an additional 262 linear kms of storage. Preparations for the start of the move of stock into the building are progressing.

Preservation
Preservation funding 2008/09 2007/08
 
£000
£000
Grant in Aid
6,198
6,094
Donations/external funds 1
165
45
Sales income
278
251
TOTAL
6,641
6,390

1 The increase in 2008/09 is mainly due to funds received for LIFE2, the second phase of the LIFE (Lifecycle Information for E-Literature) project.

Items preserved 5 2008/09 2007/08
Conservation and/or rebinding
4,358
5,460
New binding
36,523
36,330
Minor repairs
3,403
7,845
Boxing/other work
9,126
9,187
Preservation microfilming 2
15,691
18,042
TOTAL
69,101
76,864

Preservation microfilming 3 2008/09 2007/08
Newspapers: frames of film 4
16,025,582
18,702,845
Books, periodicals, record volumes, manuscripts: frames of film
1,429,756
1,367,790
TOTAL
17,455,338
20,070,635

Notes

1 Fluctuations in figures are due to the normal variations which occur annually when treating a wide range of non-standard items with variable resources and priorities.

2 This figure is the approximate number of volumes equivalent to the frames shown under the heading 'preservation microfilming'.

3 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.

4 The decrease from the previous year is due to a reduction in expenditure on newspaper programmes for 2008/09 plus an increase in costs.

5 Fluctuations in figures are due to the normal variations which occur annually when treating a wide range of non-standard items with variable resources and priorities.

  2008/09 2007/08
Monographs
141,755
111,567
Serial issues
259,763
271,353
Maps and atlases
1,932
2,562
Music scores
2,041
1,944
Newspaper issues
144,982
149,649
Playscripts
275
276
TOTAL
550,748
537,351
Serial titles received
35,977
36,925
Claims for items not automatically deposited
252,168
259,867