People looking at an item in exhibition case.

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

Scholarship has always sought, sometimes against the odds, to reach across boundaries of language, politics, faith and geography. Today, the international community of libraries is a powerful and resilient network of institutions with shared values and missions. What’s more, the digital era has delivered tools and platforms that are bringing this network closer together in compelling new ways. The British Library has a distinctive and important role to play alongside others in this global system, not least as our collection is perhaps the most international of its kind, with rare and unique items reflecting all major language groups and faiths.

Our priorities between now and 2023 to support our International purpose are to increase our engagement in those regions of the world whose cultures and histories are reflected most strongly in the Library’s collections. We also want to take a professional leadership role in the national library network of Europe so that we can contribute to the development of a global distributed digital library. And, we plan to grow our capacity to support other institutions whose collections are at risk from war or civil emergency.


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.