Animal Tales

Open until Sun 1 Nov 2015FREE
Animal Tales exhibition at the British Library

For more information

An exhibition exploring animals on the page

From Aesop’s Fables to Ted Hughes’s Crow, the stories we tell about animals are often stories about us. This exhibition goes on the trail of animals on the page, asking why they have come to play such an important role in literature for adults and children alike.


From the earliest marks made by humans in caves to the modern-day internet full of cute cats, animals have been enduring media stars. Symbols of the sacred or the profane, the domesticated or the ferocious, animals have always fed our imagination helping us to make sense of the world and ourselves. Inspiring writers, poets, scientists and artists through the ages, a library can become the largest zoo in the world when you begin to track down the creatures lurking among the pages on the shelves. 

Animal Tales explores what wild – and tamed – creatures say about us when they take on literary or artistic form and displays richly illustrated editions of traditional tales, from Anansi to Little Red Riding Hood. And be closer to nature with a soundscape based on the Library’s collection of sound recordings, with illustrations and poems by Mark Doty and Darren Waterston.

Image courtesy of the artist Darren Waterston and the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


Name: Animal Tales
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Opening times and visitor information
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546