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

Our exhibitions are delighting people around the UK

Monday, February 20, 2023

Some of our favourite exhibitions, past and present, can be found in different locations throughout the country. Displays leading on from Chinese and British, an exhibition currently running here in St Pancras, can be seen in our partner libraries across...

Improving the online presence of public libraries with a new grants programme

Friday, February 17, 2023

LibraryOn is a digital platform that connects public libraries and people. It celebrates what libraries do and what people love about them. To help raise the profile of libraries, LibraryOn also manages a £1.1m grant programme which will help public...

Voyages of discovery: Collaborative Doctoral Partnership projects at the British Library

Friday, January 27, 2023

Every year, we invite staff across the Library to propose new research themes for our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) programme, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). CDP projects are created to reflect our wider strategic commitments to...

LibraryOn: researching collaborations between public and university libraries

Monday, January 9, 2023

Every year the British Library offers a number of PhD research placements and in this blog Suzy Lawrence, a PhD Placement Researcher, shares her research insights and recommendations. In June, Suzy started her placement as part of the LibraryOn team...

More blog posts