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

Behind the scenes at the British Library: Heather Murphy, Conservation Team Leader

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

In our monthly blog series we go behind the scenes at the Library to introduce you to our people and the many ways they work to bring our collection to everyone. This month we meet Heather Murphy, Conservation Team Leader....

Meet the Maker: Katch Skinner

Monday, November 22, 2021

In our Meet the Maker blog series, we profile the independent creative businesses behind some of our product ranges in the British Library Shop (both online and at our St Pancras, London site). This month, we meet Katch Skinner, who...

Library Lives: Mark Freeman, Stockton-on-Tees

Monday, November 15, 2021

‘I have lived a life of libraries, and I have never regretted becoming part of such an absolutely brilliant profession. I’m pleased we are now able to develop new apprentices to take up the reins in the future – libraries...

Light Night Leeds 2021

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

What links lanterns from Liverpool, new music from Newcastle, two owls and 26,000 people in Leeds? It is, of course, the British Library and Light Night Leeds, the city’s annual free multi-arts and light festival. Over two nights in October,...

More blog posts