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

Library Lives: Morgan Wadsworth-Boyle, British Library St Pancras

Monday, May 16, 2022

‘A good librarian is a bit of a detective, I think – whether it’s hunting down a mis-shelved book or the answer to a question.’ In this month’s celebration of librarians, we’re back at the British Library to meet Morgan...

Behind the Scenes at the British Library: Janis Black and Ged Prior from the Public Lending Right team

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

This month we meet Janis Black and Ged Prior from the Public Lending Right (PLR) team, who are based in Boston Spa. Janis Black Ged Prior First things first: what is Public Lending Right? In short, it means authors, illustrators,...

Our top 10 most unusual collection items

Thursday, April 28, 2022

We’re more than Magna Carta and Beowulf. Dig deep within our archives you’ll find some rather unusual and unexpected objects – from talking stamps to the Edwardian equivalent of today’s Sat Nav. We asked our curators and librarians to tell...

Library Lives: Paramjit Hans, Birmingham

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

‘My favourite enquiry? A child once asked if we had photographs of real dinosaurs!’ In this month’s celebration of librarians, we meet Paramjit Hans, Business and Learning Officer at the Library of Birmingham. Paramjit Hans Tell us about your role...

More blog posts