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

Doctoral Open Days – 15 years and counting

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Doctoral Open Day attendee and a curator looking at a collection item during a ‘show and tell’ session. Earlier this year, we celebrated our 15th season of Doctoral Open Days (DODs). These annual events are designed to introduce first...

Our role in building a brighter climate future 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Solar panels being installed on the roof of our St Pancras building, in London. As the UK’s national library, we hold over 170 million items including this morning’s tweet, each day’s newspapers, and items from every age of written civilisation....

Behind the Scenes at the British Library: Sandra A. Agard, Learning Facilitator for Schools

Monday, November 14, 2022

In this special edition of Behind the Scenes, we sat down with Sandra A. Agard, our Learning Facilitator for Schools. Sandra is also a well-renowned storyteller, writer, and cultural historian. She recently won an honorary fellowship with the Royal Society...

Developing a Single Digital Presence for public libraries: our journey so far

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

SDP session at Arts Council England’s Youth Advisory Board, 24 September 2022. Since our previous update in May, things have moved forward at pace on our project to develop a new platform for UK public libraries. A unified, national branded...

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