Treasures of the British Library

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Treasures of the British Library. Discover stories that shape the world.

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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.

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.

Temporary displays

We also have temporary displays throughout the year. The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company: Staging Gilbert and Sullivan is open from 3 September until 8 December 2019.

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

Inside the Treasures Gallery at the British Library (credit: Tony Antoniou)


Name: Treasures of the British Library
Where: The Sir John Ritblat: Treasures Gallery
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: Monday to Sunday
Opening times and visitor information
Price: Free
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546