‘Treasures of the British Library’ returns for a second series on Sky Arts

Fiona Bruce at the British Library

Following the success of its debut series, the second series of Treasures of the British Library, in which five famous faces take their own personal tour of the British Library’s fascinating collections, will be broadcast on Sky Arts from this September.


Featuring actor Andrew Scott, violinist Nicola Benedetti, writer Hanif Kureishi, actor Jim Carter and presenter Fiona Bruce, Treasures of the British Library will follow one celebrity per episode as they each discover six items from the British Library’s extraordinary collections.

Treasures of the British Library will take viewers on an absorbing, surprising and often poignant journey through history. From a handwritten Beethoven violin concerto score and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre manuscript, to the seminal 1978 Rock against Racism poster and audio recordings of George Harrison, this series will once again remind the viewer of the important role the British Library plays in preserving our collective heritage to provide inspiration for future generations, as seen through the eyes of a group of celebrated cultural figures. The series features moments such as Andrew Scott reading from the first quarto of Hamlet, following his renowned turn as the Prince of Denmark on the stage last year, and violinist Nicola Benedetti playing from a handwritten score of Beethoven’s violin concerto.

Each episode ends with an item from the celebrity’s personal archive being donated to the British Library’s permanent collection.

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library said:

“We are thrilled to be working once again with Sky Arts and Nutshell TV on this second series of Treasures of the British Library. Every episode reveals more about the astonishing variety of items held in our collections – from audio recordings of suffragette Christabel Pankhurst to Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis. These items resonate in different ways with the thousands of researchers and visitors that come through the British Library’s doors each year, and each episode brings that journey to life.”

A selection of items featured in the series will be on display in the free Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Library Gallery and online at British Library Treasures, which is freely accessible across the world. 

Treasures of the British Library will be broadcast on Sky Arts at 20.00 from 11 September for five consecutive weeks and will also be available on Sky TV On Demand.

The series was produced by Nutshell TV and the episodes will be broadcast in the following order: Fiona Bruce, Hanif Kureishi, Andrew Scott, Nicola Benedetti and Jim Carter.


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Notes to Editors

#BLTreasures

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

Sky Arts

Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated channel for the arts. It offers something for everyone, whatever their passion, with entertaining programmes showcasing the best of classical and popular music, theatre, opera, dance and the visual arts, as well as original drama and comedy. Sky Arts is broadcast 24 hours a day and has over 1,000 hours available on catch-up TV, including flagship programmes such as Portrait Artist of The Year, Landscape Artist of the Year and The South Bank Show. The channel is committed to supporting the arts by investing in the best talent, both on and off screen, as well as through exclusive partnerships with major UK and European cultural institutions, including National Theatre Live, Tate and The British Library.


For more information:

Stephanie Knox
The British Library
t: +44 (0)20 7412 7329
e: stephanie.knox@bl.uk

Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0) 20 7412 7150

Press Office contacts

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.