Case Study: Inspiring great programmes
The British Library’s resources and expertise are a major asset for the creative industries, including film, television and publishing, which contribute
to the UK economy.
Many television programmes are researched and filmed at the British Library every year, connecting the Library with audiences in the UK and around the world. Among the highlights of 2009/10 was the BBC documentary series Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World.
The four-part series for BBC Two made extensive use of rarely-seen manuscripts and records, revealing the hidden human stories behind famous battles and combining finely detailed social history with epic stories. Much of the research was done at the British Library, which also provided key items from its collections such as Captain Cook’s maps and drawings from his voyages with HMS Endeavour.
‘It would be impossible to make vivid, relevant and enjoyable programmes about British and world history without the bottomless resource that is the British Library,’ says Dan Snow, historian and presenter.. ‘From conception through to execution, the British Library was our workplace, inspiration and location. It is a place to treasure.’