Click here to skip to content

Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in history. Examine the British Library's copy close-up, translate it into English, hear what our curator says about it, and explore a timeline.

Magna Carta viewerLAUNCH THE MAGNA CARTA VIEWER

Magna Carta viewer

Our Magna Carta viewer (optimised for screen resolutions of 1024x768) uses the Shockwave plugin, which can be downloaded free from the Adobe website. There is also a simple version that does not require Shockwave.

Watch virtual curator videosWATCH VIRTUAL CURATOR VIDEOS

Claire Breay

British Library Head of Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Claire Breay answers 'frequently asked questions' in a series of short videos.

Read a translationREAD A TRANSLATION

You can also translate from Latin 'as you go' while using the Magna Carta viewer magnifier.

UNESCO - Memory of the World logo

THE BASICS

How and why Magna Carta was written, and how it came to the British Library.

ThemesThemes

Making peace

The background to Magna Carta in 13th-century England.

PeoplePeople

Archbishop Stephen Langton

Find out how different people were affected by Magna Carta.