125 color plates
8 1/2 x 10
In addition to holding some of the world’s most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is also the repository of the nation’s collective memory. Owing its origin to the generosity and far-sightedness of a handful of eighteenth-century scholars and book lovers, 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.
This beautifully produced and generously illustrated book tells the story of the Library through its founders, its engaging history, and its renowned collection. Michael Leapman highlights the most significant and beautiful items in the care of the British Library, while also exploring some of the lesser-known, more surprising artifacts housed in its iconic building in the heart of London.