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The Electronic British Library Journal

A Foreword by Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library

The aim of the British Library Journal is to extend the knowledge of the Library, its collections and their potential for research.

It forms part of a tradition of seeking new ways of giving the widest possible access to knowledge which stretches back to the time of my predecessor Sir Anthony Panizzi, who in 1836 declared: 'I want a poor student to have the same means of indulging his learned curiosity, of following his rational pursuits, of consulting the same authorities, of fathoming the most intricate inquiry as the richest man in the kingdom, as far as books go and I contend that the Government is bound to give him the most liberal and unlimited assistance in this respect.'

In the first issue of the British Library Journal in 1975, the then Chairman Viscount Eccles envisaged that the Journal would be read by 'dedicated bookmen, amateur as well as professional' and added: 'But to broaden the readership is also a social duty.  Those who have a privileged access to the things of the intellect and spirit have an obligation to share their good fortune as widely as possible'.  When the digital versionwas launched in 2002, my immediate predecessor Dame Lynne Brindley took these aspirations into the digital age, writing in her Foreword that the Journal in its electronic form would 'combine traditional scholarship with the latest technology'. 

The British Library Journal is now in its eleventh year of publication of born-digital articles both by emerging scholars and by those already by recognized in their disciplines. All back issues of the print British Library Journal have been digitized and added to the web page. The British Library's commitment to scholarship and its ever broader dissemination is exemplified in its Journal.