Our vision

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

Responding to the coronavirus pandemic

In October 2020, the Library published a strategic statement explaining how Living Knowledge would respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Living Knowledge – For Everyone: the British Library’s role in national renewal (PDF format) explains how we will work to support economic, social, and cultural renewal from the impact of the pandemic.

More about Living Knowledge

Living Knowledge (PDF format) 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. Join the conversation on Twitter by using #LivingKnowledge.


Our six purposes show how the public funding we receive helps to deliver tangible public value.


We build, curate and preserve the UK’s national collection of published, written and digital content.


We support and stimulate research of all kinds.


We help businesses to innovate and grow.


We engage everyone with memorable cultural experiences.


We inspire young people and learners of all ages.


We work with partners around the world to advance knowledge and understanding.


These five major transformation programmes show how we're achieving our Living Knowledge vision.

Everyone Engaged

Our mission is to make our intellectual heritage available to everyone for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

Everything Available

We're modernising our support for researchers of all kinds.

St Pancras Transformed

We're expanding the British Library’s campus in St Pancras, London.

Heritage Made Digital

We will transform digital access to our collections of heritage materials.

Boston Spa Renewed

We're developing our Boston Spa site to meet the information management challenges of the 21st century.

Blog posts

Three of our most fascinating collection items from around the world

Friday, July 8, 2022

The items in our collection and the expertise of our curators span the globe. This month, as many people’s minds turn to travel, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on some intriguing items suggested by our curators that originate from...

Launching the Green Libraries Manifesto

Thursday, July 7, 2022

From climate crisis focused community workshops to imaginative and practical carbon saving initiatives, libraries are already engaged with tackling climate emergency and doing their bit in facilitating positive climate outcomes. Today at the CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information...

Library Lives: Susan Taylor, Glasgow

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

‘I love this quote from Andrew Carnegie: “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”’ In this month’s celebration of librarians we’re back in...

What’s in a name? Update on the Single Digital Presence project

Monday, May 23, 2022

Back in February, we updated on progress to develop a groundbreaking new digital platform for public libraries. Since then we’ve been working with creative agency, FCB Inferno, to develop a name and identity for the platform. This work started in...

More blog posts