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Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We went to see the AngloSaxon Kingdoms exhibition at the British Library. An absolutely wonderful collection of manuscripts and treasures but there were two major drawbacks which made for a disappointing exhibition overall. Firstly it was very crowded, so much so that it was often difficult to get close to the items on display. Secondly, and this is the crux of the matter I think, everything was very dark and so it was hard to see the items clearly. Many of the illuminated books etc were placed quite close together and so people were shuffling past, trying to look at the items on display and peering at the accompanying information, which was in quite small print and hard to see also! I understand the reason for the dim light due to the age of the manuscripts but I feel that the exhibition could have been better curated so that there was more room to see the individual items and read the information also. Better light if at all possible would have been a big plus. Ultimately then, a frustrating disappointment.

Thank sharynp72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago

I've never been in such a huge library; it is truly overwhelming. The exhibitions were impressive. Original sheet music by Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. Original works by Sylvia Plath, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, and Virginia Woolf. The Magna Carta and a declaration of celebration from King Henry VIII after his son was born and a letter that Elizabeth I wrote. The library was very busy, with not a surface to sit on. Quite a nice few hours in the library...and free!

Thank SaraBourque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago

Not the first time of visiting yesterday and experience the same as before. I went with family, on a mission to research our family tree in the Asian and African reading room. You will need a reading card if you haven't been before and getting one and renewing it is really easy - just check what you need to have with you before you go (look on their website, it's self explanatory). We got there around 9.15am and there was a queue which was really long by 9.30am when it opens. Free lockers downstairs to put your things in as they are understandably strict about what you can and can't take with you into the reading rooms. Take a pencil as no pens allowed. Most of the staff were really friendly and couldn't do enough to help us with any questions. Easy to get to as it is right next to King's Cross/St Pancras Stations.

Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago

London has so much to do, whether its dry or wet.
I can't believe it had probably been three years since I've been into a library, I guess with the internet there isn't the need there once was, which is a shame.
So the British Library is a must see, first of all its free, secondly the Treasure room is unbelievable. The historical texts that it has in there cover many aspects of global history, arts and culture all in written form. To be honest you need hours just to absorb the quantity of marvellous stuff to be found in this section of the library.
After that there are additional sections and sometimes displays which may either require payment or becoming a member.
There are a few floors with hundreds of desks so that people can study, and seeing hundreds of people being industrious on laptops (free wifi and power) looks almost like an Orwellian scenario.
There is also a canteen and bookshop.

Thank odimascio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

Everything about the British Library is impressive, even its exterior. Inside it’s a marvel: it seems so spacious and well designed. As well as the reading rooms and areas, as well as the research facilities there’s permanent and temporary exhibition space to showcase the many marvels it contains. The cafe and restaurant is an added bonus. Everyone should pay a visit and recognise the importance of the written word.

Thank Nicholas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago

I went to the Anglo Saxon exhibition, and it was amazing. I need to go back to see the permanent collection. My only gripe is that on a Sunday - which was very busy - the cloakroom was closed, and the lockers weren’t big enough to accommodate a small suitcase, so I had to drag it around with me.

Thank Motherofpearl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

I booked online and at the appointed hour was ushered in. The exhibit itself was spectacular but to be honest, I started glazing over after the first few dozen priceless manuscripts. Oh look, it says squiggle, but here’s why that’s important. The commentary beside each artifact was well done and gave me wonderful insight into the early history of the English language, and indeed into the English people themselves.

I do wish that some more expository material was available on the runic script, it’s origins, how much has been deciphered, etc. And the beginning of writing Anglo-Saxon in the Roman script was presented as a fait accompli and without explanation. I’ll have to research that on my own.

It was most interesting to learn just how much influence Irish scholars had on forming the basis of English culture. I also enjoyed learning about how the Norman Conquest, virtually legendary, was so intricately documented in the Domesday book.

I enjoyed the artifacts (coins, brooches, etc) — perhaps because they provided a respite from the books.

Thank L5672YKjohnt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Booked a ticket for the Saxon exhibition. Loved it. Amazing to see some of the gold from Sutton Hoo and the recent hoard. Amazing brooches of really intricate design. The Medici bible was spectacular. So BIG ! Try taking that to bible study. The jewelled gospels were incredible. Also went into the free treasures exhibit. Loved the Monty Python stuff and Shakespeare first folio. Staff all friendly. Good stuff.

Thank Andrew-Leakey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is an amazing place that had me genuinely catching my breath at the exhibits.

We only had a short time to visit and went into Treasures of the British Library.

The room contained an absolute treasure trove, from original scores by Beethoven to written manuscripts by famous authors and poets.

The Magna Carta, early religious documents, secret government documents from historic moments, even original Monty Python scripts - the list goes on and this is just one room.

There is plenty more to explore and I highly recommend a visit.

Thank bencarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

What an amazing place- a spectacular trove of historic documents that truly overwhelm when seen in person.
Along with the permanent display is an always interesting special rotating exhibit on a myriad of topics.
Well worth a visit.

Thank jfadds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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