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Sacred: Discover what we share
27 April – 23 September 2007

The world's greatest collection of Jewish, Christian and Islamic holy texts, side by side for the first time, was visited by over 200,000 people from across the religious spectrum.


Outside the Sacred exhibition sometime in the wet summer of 2007


Sacred: Discover what we share was the British Library's most ambitious exhibition to date. It proved the most successful, both in terms of visitors, and of the overwhelmingly positive reaction from press and public alike. On display were 150 texts including a Dead Sea Scroll, a Qur'an all written in gold, and the world's oldest complete Bible.
• See slideshow of exhibition
• Explore 66 of the texts online


• Rated top of Top 20 London exhibitions in summer 2007 (The Times) • "Stupendous..." (The Independent) • "Stunning..." (The Economist) • "Awesome..." (The Times) • "The surprise hit of the London exhibition season..." (Bloomberg) • "Remarkable... justly praised..." (The Hindu) • "Magnificent... impossible not to be moved" (Pakistan Daily Times)


. "Inspiring and amazing... we may live in our diverse communities with humility, tolerance and respect, not fear and ignorance" (Judith) • "A sense of touching history " (Michael Radcliffe) • "Super, duper, über awesome" (Cherrie BB) • "Incredible but true" (Tewfic el-Sawy) • "I was so moved I cried" (Ambenku) • "Mille mercis, c'était incroyablement beau et instructif!" (Anon) • "Una exhibición fascinante, muy ecléctica y bien expuesta. Enhorabuena!" (Amaia) • "Fantastiche" (Willem Dekker) • "I was captivated! So much so that I didn't see those stairs at the end. Yeah. Fell down six stairs. Way to make a graceful entrance" (Jessica G) • blog archive


• 20 panel discussions (see Audio) • 5 workshops for families • 8 UK towns visited by roadshow • 15 free gallery talks • 1 three-day conference • 1 comedy evening • 13 free live concerts of world music • concert reviews archive


• A group of 10 prisoners led workshops, where inmates produced their own sacred text on the subject 'What is sacred to me'  • video of chaplain and prisoners


• 200,054 people visited, an average of 1,325 each day • Prominent visitors included Prince Charles; Prince Philip; Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco; Prince Hassan of Jordan; former PM Tony Blair; and ambassadors from 35 countries • The exhibition was reported in broadsheet newspapers in the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iran, New Zealand, Australia, India, Pakistan, China and Egypt • Personal accounts of a trip to the exhibition featured in over 1,200 blogs


Coexist Foundation; The Moroccan British Society; Saint Catherine Foundation; The Clore Duffield Foundation, Sami Shamoon, The Dorset Foundation, William & Judith Bollinger, The Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Eranda Foundation, The Rubin Foundation, New Star Asset Management, Sir Harry Djanogly CBE.


Audio, video and more

Sacred contexts