Living Knowledge: The British Library 2015 – 2023

Living Knowledge sets out the British Library’s vision for its future development as it looks ahead to 2023, the year of its 50th anniversary as the national library of the United Kingdom

Published date:

Living Knowledge sets out six core statements of purpose: custodianship, research, business, culture, learning and international and explains how we contribute to research, culture, education and economic prosperity, for the benefit not just of the UK but of users and partners around the world. Our mission is to make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

The priorities within Living Knowledge include the Save our Sounds campaign to address the major preservation challenge to the UK’s sound collections, further development of our research and digital innovation activities, and an expansion of our existing work with others in support of business, culture and learning.

Chief Executive Roly Keating said: “Living Knowledge is an ambitious prospectus for growth and continued development, driven by a vision of the British Library in 2023 as the most open, creative and innovative institution of its kind in the world. These are times of historic disruption in the whole global system of information and publication, and it seems right that the great knowledge institutions – with their historic remit to think and act with a view far into the future – should play a full part in shaping the changes that lie ahead”.

Join the conversation #LivingKnowledge and download the document [PDF].

The Mechanical Curator and Other Stories: Libraries and creativity in an age of data.

Watch Chief Executive Roly Keating’s speech on the enduring role of libraries in a digital age and their importance to the knowledge economy.

A day in the life of the British Library

The soundtrack was created by DJ Yoda in a custom-made track sampling the Library’s own vast sound collections, performed live from the British Library’s Entrance Hall on 21 November 2014 as part of the BBC 6 Music Celebrates Libraries season.

British Library collection items issued to readers

Watch 10 hypnotic minutes of book requests from our book request system, showing the sheer range and diversity of content that is being used by our Readers every day.

See also

Blog posts

Living Knowledge Network skills sharing day

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Living Knowledge Network’s first skills sharing day took place late last year. Librarians from around the UK came to the Norrish Library in Portsmouth to talk together, share ideas and learn collectively. Following a recent blog post on the...

A Journey to Essex

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Recently, the personal and professional collided for me when Library colleagues and I were invited to visit High House Production Park to meet counterparts from Creative and Cultural Skills and the Royal Opera House. HHPP itself is based in Thurrock,...

John Berger (1926-2017): The Company of the Past

Monday, January 9, 2017

In a New Statesman interview in June 2015, John Berger—then aged 88—talked about the importance of the past to his writing and thinking: ‘You see, I think that the dead are with us…they are a presence. What you think you’re...

The Elastic System: What Can You Do with a Library?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

There have been several artistic residences at the British Library. Using the Library's collections to make new work, they usually focus on some definable part of the archives, like First World War newspapers or a great writer's travel diaries. But...

More blog posts

Projects

Building the Future

Building the future will shape the development of the British Library’s campus in St Pancras, London – one of the great public buildings of the last century

Save our Sounds

Save our Sounds is our programme to preserve the nation’s sound heritage

All projects