September 14, 2011

Beyond the Shelf - The British Library

Welcome to the Travel Edition of Beyond the Shelf. As you know I've just returned from a trip to the UK and I also stayed in London for a few days. Plenty to see and do, and obviously, being me, I had to put something bookish on my itinerary. Now you might argue, that going to a library on vacation is kind of weird, especially considering that I'm the kind of gal who won't read on vacation. Well, good point there, but The British Library is more than just a place to read and/or lend books.

You can actually discover quite a few treasures here. Gutenberg Bible? Check. Magna Charta? Check. Shakespeare? Well, come on we're in the UK ... of course you'll find copies of his plays here too. While these exhibits are well worth a visit all by themselves, The British Library also features exhibitions like the current Out of this World exhibition which, admittedly, was the main reason I had to go there in the first place. Being a huge science fiction fan it was basically a must-see for me. Photography unfortunately not allowed - though it was a blog post plus photos of a fellow book blogger who brought the exhibition to my attention in the first place *cough* - so I'm not able to entertain you with a pic of yours truly trying to get into Dr. Who's Phone booth. If you're a science fiction fan and happen to be in London now or in the next few weeks (it will be open until September 25th), you shouldn't miss out on a visit here. It also pays to check forthcoming exhibitions, such as Charles Dickens and the Supernatural which will be open November 29th 2011 through March 4th 2012.

Living too far away? Then the newly launched eBook treasures might be of interest to you, in case you're an iPad user. You can now download rare and unique manuscripts, like Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebook, in the iBookstore. 75 titles will be made available over the the next two years, bringing some of The British Library's most precious manuscripts straight to the reader.

Last but not least, how about sending one of the lovely e-cards the site offers? It's absolutely free and they've got some great images, like Snow White below, available.

1 comment:

  1. I love the British Library - I've been there two or three times now.

    I didn't see the exhibition you saw, but I'm dying to see the Charles Dickens and the Supernatural one!

    I love the gift-shop there too - I could have spent a fortune.