The Book of the British Library


As well as holding some of the world's most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is the repository of the nation's collective memory.

Product details

Owing its origin to the generosity and far - sightedness of a handful of 18th-century scholars and booklovers, and built up over 250 years, the Library's very extensive collections - of books, manuscripts, maps, music, newspapers, photographs, sound recordings, stamps, and digital media - offer keys to the understanding of human achievement in literature, art, music, politics, journalism, exploration and much else, from ancient times to the present day.

In this highly illustrated book, Michael Leapman tells the library's story highlighting the most significant and beautiful items that can be found in its care, as well as exploring some of the lesser known, more surprising artefacts housed in its iconic building.

Michael Leapman has written or edited 18 books on an eclectic range of subjects, including The World for a Shilling: How the Great Exhibition of 1851 Shaped a Nation (2001), Inigo: The Troubled Life of Inigo Jones, Architect of the English Renaissance (2004), and DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Great Britain (2011).

Michael Leapman
British Library Publishing
Publication date
September 2012
256 pages
250 x 215mm

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