PIN The British Library

A Great British Institute

The British Library is the national library of the UK. Every publication produced in the UK and Ireland has a copy sent to the British Library – an institute that has garnered a collection of more than 150 million items to which some 3 million new items each year. It is also free and the public can apply for access to the reading rooms, or just go and explore the permanent and temporary exhibits in the John Ritblat Gallery. The library contains some of the most famous written and printed items known to civilisation where they are displayed. Visitors can see, works of literary art such as Shakespeare’s first Folio, Handel’s Messiah, the Gutenberg Bible, early drafts of the Magna Carta, the Beatles’ manuscripts and the Lindisfarne Gospels. It includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.


The origins and foundations of this wonderful library was established in 1753. A donation was given to the library from the Royal book collection of King George III to the library in 1827 and housed in this first public museum. For over 200 years the collection was enhanced, added to and ultimately became known as the British Museum library in 1973.

During the library's history from 1700's onwards many developments and changes have occurred. Today it is one of the worlds most visited national libraries and its collection contains million's of text book, journals, rare manuscripts, maps, encyclopaedias, newspaper collections, ephemera and resources available on-line

Opening hours

Monday - Thursday
09:30 - 20:00
09:30 - 18:00
09:30 - 17:00
11:00 - 17:00

TripTide Thoughts

A shining light and a beacon to which great libraries should aspire – fresh, relevant and an institute of huge gravitas. It should really be know as the Great British Library. Visitors to London will be awe-struck.


  • Free WiFi
  • , History
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  • , Indoor
  • , Magnetic North
  • , North London
  • , Child Friendly
  • , Libraries


Lucy is a TripTide stalwart and has been with the company since inception. She is a font of knowledge of all things in our metropolis but she has a special penchant for London's historical past. She says:"London is a multi-layered confection of hi...


96 , Euston Rd , London , NW1 2DB (View on Google Maps)
A Great British Institution


Some Exhibitions Are Chargeable

Recent Reviews

"What a great gallery"

The British Library's gallery has a part dedicated to The Beatles which I absolutely LOVED.

Reviewed by Alizée 4 years ago


Went as a visitor to an exhibition and returned as a card carrying 'Reader'. A beautiful and wonderful establishment .

Reviewed by Peter 5 years ago