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“If a history buff, try and catch the Georgian Exhibit.”
Review of British Library

British Library
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Private Custom Tour: London in a Day
Ranked #79 of 1,790 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Open to all visitors seven-days-a-week, this superb building by Sir Colin St John Wilson offers events, special exhibitions and a Treasures Gallery that displays over 200 items, including Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible and lyrics by the Beatles.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Why visit a library while in London? The permanent (free) exhibit has some very old documents and manuscripts, some as old as 1,000 years old, which is well worth a stroll.

Until March 11, there is a special exhibit on life during the Georgian era. This is no small task to present the history of over 100 years: just think what it would be like to try and do the history of 1900-2000, and you can grasp the enormity of the task. There were a lot of interesting things to see, but you must be warned: mostly to read. Not surprising, if you think about it - it's put together by the British LIBRARY, so most of the stuff on exhibit consists of printed documents. You will, however, find a few costumes, a hand-written Handel score, and Jane Austen's writing desk and glasses.

The exhibit costs 9 pounds. If you love/are fascinated by the Georgian era, it might be worth it. Definitely do not take children or if you are not up for a lot of reading.

They have a nice gift shop. The food in the cafe is also nice and fairly priced: good luck, though, ever finding a place to sit. Almost all the seats seem to be perpetually occupied with non-eating library patrons and their laptops..

If you just want to pop into the regular free collection, you might entice your other family members to come along with the promise of either seeing the street where Sherlock is filmed (at 187 Gower), or Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station. Both are less than 5 minutes walk from the library.

2  Thank miznina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 1, 2014

Don't miss this- it has a wonderful permanent exhibition of very old manuscripts and music. It is free. Has n interesting Beatles display if you are a fan.

Thank Kansas534
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

The British Library is always well worth visiting but this exhibition is superb even by their standards, well worth the £10 entrance fee, we normally spend about 2 hours in exhibitions but spent more than 3 here without realising the time, it is informative, well presented and absolutely fascinating

Thank Jan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014 via mobile

I was very excited about attending this exhibition as I have read the superb 'London in the Eighteenth Century' by Jerry White.
The exhibition frankly felt poor value for £9 and lacked imagination. Unlike exhibitions at the V&A which use multimedia, this exhibition felt poor, was rather drab and poorly lit.
The Georgian era saw the development of the middle class, coffee houses, continual wars and obscene behavior by all classes and terrible conditions for the poor. This exhibition concentrated too much on the similarities between now and then. The explanations were shallow, and the displays largely consisted of books from the British Library rather than a range of media.
By far the most interesting item was at the end in which an enlarged map of London from 1790 is on the floor of the entire room, so that you can walk over the map and explore the map in detail. Unfortunately however, this room tells nothing of the extremes of wealth which were evident in London at this time. All in all...drab and unimaginative.

Thank Cmalone857
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 24, 2014

We came to London to see a show and had time spare before catching our train from St Pancras, this is next door. As it was raining, called in here. The Treasures of the British Library exhibition was fascinating, we could easily have spent more time here. Café prices were reasonable for London. Entrance is free, only charges are for special exhibitions.

1  Thank mag1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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