The British Overseas Territories, formerly known officially as colonies, are Gibraltar; the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Bermuda; Turks and Caicos Islands; Anguilla; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Montserrat; Falkland Islands; Saint Helena (including Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha); South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; and Pitcairn Islands. The Library collects selectively from these territories and has a number of books, periodicals, official publications, maps, topographical images, newspapers, stamps, sound recordings and websites relating to them.
Collection Overview and Highlights
The British Overseas Territories are separate entities with their own individual histories and so their publications have not been collected systematically as a single group. They are also not subject to the Legal Deposit Libraries Act (2003) so publishers based there are not obliged to send their works to the British Library. However, the Library does collect selectively from these territories, purchasing items and receiving donations, and holding many research-level studies relating to these territories.
Historical highlights include remarkable images – engravings, maps, stamps, and views – relating to these territories, a selection of which can be seen in the Online Gallery which has examples of images relating to Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands; Montserrat; Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha; Ascension Island; and the Antarctic.
There are also recordings, including one of a key parliamentary speech by Margaret Thatcher relating to the Falkland Islands, which can be heard via the Online Gallery. Captain Scott’s Diary is held by the Library, as is the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, formerly a Montserrat slave. Web Collection highlights include the Laws of Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel and the Tristan da Cunha website.
British Library Links
Department of Manuscripts
Explore the British Library
Falkland Islands Collections
Sound Archive: Cadensa Catalogue
Ascension Island Government
British Antarctic Survey: British Antarctic Territory
British Virgin Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
British Indian Ocean Territory: Chagos Conservation Trust
Falkland Islands Government
Gibraltar (Selection of Links)
Montserrat Volcano Oberservatory
Pitcairn Islands Government
St Helena Government
South Georgia and Sandwich Islands
South Georgia Heritage Trust
Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Ministry of Defence website)
Tristan da Cunha Official Website
Turks and Caicos Islands Government