From Magna Carta and Shakespeare to Ada Lovelace and The Beatles. Discover some of the world’s most exciting, beautiful and significant books, manuscripts and sound recordings.
'The holy grail for history buffs' – Time Out
From Magna Carta and Shakespeare to Ada Lovelace and The Beatles. Our Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Library Gallery tells the remarkable stories of over two thousand years of human experience. Discover the stories that shape the world.
Get a taste of what’s inside the Gallery in our accompanying Treasures website.
We also have temporary displays throughout the year. An Unsuitable Game for Ladies: A Century of Women's Football is open from 14 May until 1 September 2019.
Explore Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester at the kiosks outside our Treasures Gallery for free – available until 8 September 2019
Visitors can experience a complete translation and explanation of the Codex Leicester through an interactive touch-screen digital device called a Codascope. The Codascopes allows viewers to pull up digital versions of every page to read and see the written and visual annotations that describe multiple elements, drawing viewers into Leonardo’s world.
What our visitors say on TripAdvisor:
We visited a number of museums and exhibits while in London, and the Treasures of The British Library was my favorite by far. DaVinci's notebook; handwritten music from Handel, Beethoven, Chopin and more; lyrics from The Beatles; a letter from Churchill authorizing the Monuments Men; stunning religious texts; works from Austen and Dickens -- all well-preserved and respectfully displayed.
Where else can you see the original Magna Carta and the original handwritten lyrics to “Ticket to Ride” across the room from each other?
The range of the collection here is just incredible, with historic documents covering many areas from ancient religious texts to significant works of literature, science, personal diaries etc. A fascinating way to spend a couple of hours. It was amazing to see so many 'treasures' all housed in the one space. A truly incredible collection.
Note: You may find the Sir John Ritblat Gallery cooler and darker than other areas of the Library. This controlled environment protects any items that may fade, discolour, or be damaged in bright light or humid conditions. Photography is not permitted in our galleries. We recommend bringing an extra layer for your comfort.
Items are taken off display on a regular basis for conservation reasons and may also be lent to other institutions for exhibition. If you wish to be sure that a particular item is on display, please check in advance. Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7332