The British Library - Prices, opening hours, news, events and exhibitions

About the The British Library

The UK's national library in a striking building, but is also host to a regular set of exhibitions.

There's usually a modest sized history exhibition, which is free to visit, and often some sort of art event in the main courtyard.

They also host headline event exhibitions a couple of times per year, which are usually paid entry, but fill an entire hall with the exhibits on display.

The library itself is not open to the public, but the rest of the site is.

IMPORTANT - Although venues are reopening, their hours may differ from normal, and most now need prebooking before you visit.


Address

The British Library,
96 Euston Road,
London,
NW1 2DB

Link to The British Library's website

 

Exhibitions open at the moment

Elizabeth and Mary: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens
Step back into a dangerous world of plots, espionage and treachery to explore the turbulent relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots in their own words.
Elizabeth and Mary: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens
9:30am to 8pm
Camden
Ends on Sun 20th February
2021-10-08
2022-02-20
Paul McCartney: The Lyrics
Showcasing previously unseen material from Paul McCartney’s personal archive, this display celebrates the life and art of one of the world’s most successful songwriters and performers.
Paul McCartney: The Lyrics
9:30am to 5pm
Camden
Ends on Sun 13th March
2021-11-05
2022-03-13
£8  
Against the backdrop of war and revolution raging in Europe and the United States, a young man grew up in Bonn inspired by the ideals of freedom, and went on to compose some of the greatest works of music ever written.
All Day
Camden
Ends on Sun 24th April
2021-12-31
2022-04-24

 

Exhibitions opening soon

Breaking the News
Explore five centuries of UK news through broadsheets, blogs and objects from our own collection and examine era-defining stories close-up.
Open from Fri 22nd April to Sun 21st August
Breaking the News
2022-04-22
2022-08-21
 

The British Library Map

 

Fequently asked questions

What's the nearest railway station to The British Library

The nearest station is London St Pancras International LL Rail Station which is 0.2 miles away.


The British Library - Latest News

An exhibition of minature books at the British Library
An exhibition of minature books at the British Library

Some of the most charmingly beautiful books can also be the very smallest of books, and a selection of miniature books is currently on show in the British Library.

British Library puts 1 million newspaper pages online for free
British Library puts 1 million newspaper pages online for free

The British Library project to digitise copies of newspapers from its archive is to release one million pages as a free resource.

Paddington Bear exhibition comes to the British Library
Paddington Bear exhibition comes to the British Library

The British Library is opening an exhibition this summer all about a bear with a penchant for marmalade sandwiches.

British Library releases 18,000 maps and views for free
British Library releases 18,000 maps and views for free

The British Library has released a huge archive of nearly 18,000 maps that have been digitised and are available for free – with no copyright restrictions.

Marvellous and Mischievous at the British Library
Marvellous and Mischievous at the British Library

An exhibition is open at the British Library which looks at how books for children transformed from boringly educational for young adults through to entertaining children

Puss in books in the British Library
Puss in books in the British Library

Long before cats appeared on the internet, they appeared in books, and their comic antics are currently the topic of an exhibition at the British Library.

New exhibition shows off Captain Cook’s collections
New exhibition shows off Captain Cook’s collections

A new exhibition is opening to mark the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s ship Endeavour setting sail to eventually discover Australia, several Pacific lands and observe the transit of Venus.

Hear 140 years of Recorded Sound at the British Library
Hear 140 years of Recorded Sound at the British Library

The British Library is not just a space for silent contemplation of worthy tomes, it’s also a huge collection of audio recordings, and some are now on “display”.

Britain’s 100 best railway stations at the British Library
Britain’s 100 best railway stations at the British Library

In a talk at the British Library, Simon Jenkins tells the stories behind the development, triumphs and follies of that great British institution: the railway station.

Love, law and liberty – Gay literary lives at the British Library
Love, law and liberty – Gay literary lives at the British Library

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality between men, and the British Library is taking a look at the literary side of gay love.

Reflecting on the Russian Revolution at the British Library
Reflecting on the Russian Revolution at the British Library

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution of 1917, and the British Library has taken the opportunity to look at how it affected people far from the palaces and centres of power.

Harry Potter exhibition tickets go on sale on Monday
Harry Potter exhibition tickets go on sale on Monday

Tickets to visit the Harry Potter exhibition at London’s British Library will go on sale this coming Monday (3rd April).

There will be fun at the British Library with Victorian Entertainments
There will be fun at the British Library with Victorian Entertainments

Roll up, roll up, be amazed and astonished, magic to astound, entertainments to delight, all the fun of the Victorian music hall and stage.

Alice in Wonderland exhibition opens at the British Library
Alice in Wonderland exhibition opens at the British Library

One hundred and fifty years ago, a book was published which was to become part of the cultural consciousness. A book that few of us can recall the details, but all know the overall story.

Burning Man art comes to the British Library
Burning Man art comes to the British Library

A curious collection of paintings based on the concept of the Victorian “cabinet of curiosity” has been erected in the courtyard of the British Museum.

New exhibition explore animals in books
New exhibition explore animals in books

Animal Tales, a new exhibition in the British Library, asks why animals have come to play such an important role in literature for adults and children alike.

The largest exhibition about the Magna Carta ever staged
The largest exhibition about the Magna Carta ever staged

The first thing you’ll learn when visiting the British Library’s new Magna Carta exhibition is that the image of a bearded medieval person in armour that dominates the adverts you have seen, is not of King John.

Gothic Horror arrives at the British Library
Gothic Horror arrives at the British Library

Oh, God! Oh, Jesus Christ! Sergeant Howie’s terror stricken voice, interspersed with screams from the Bride of Frankenstein is the soundtrack that greets visitors to the British Library at the moment.

Museum Meals – The British Library
Museum Meals – The British Library

Should a library be included in the museum meals I wondered as I pondered where to stop for a short snack while in the area.

Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour
Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour

A modest but thought provoking exhibition has opened at the British Library that looks at the letters sent and propaganda printed during World War One.

Sex, Magic and Superheroes at the British Library
Sex, Magic and Superheroes at the British Library

The comic — a form of story telling that is often presented in print form with exaggerated graphics. At once it can be religious, educational, subversive, childlike, or exceptionally adult in tone.

Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight at the British Library
Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight at the British Library

If you like graphics or science, or graphics combined with science, then get along to the British Library as they have combined the two into an exhibition.

The Georgians are coming! The Georgians are coming!
The Georgians are coming! The Georgians are coming!

Next year marks the 300th anniversary of the last successful invasion of the UK by the Germans, as the Elector of Hanover, George took the British Throne as the only suitable Protestant monarch available.

British Library pays homage to children’s books illustrators
British Library pays homage to children’s books illustrators

While we are told that the written word should in of itself fire up the imagination, children’s books still tend to come with some sort of illustration in them to assist the young reader — and many of those illustrations go onto become classics in their own right.

 

Recent exhibitions

Celebrate some of the most popular entertainments of Victorian times
2016-10-14
2017-02-12
From the fall of Russia’s last Tsar to the rise of the communist state, this exhibition takes a look at the Russian Revolution 100 years on.
2017-04-28
2017-08-29
To mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, a display from the Canadian photographic collection.
2017-05-26
2017-09-10
From the trial of Oscar Wilde to the Same Sex Marriage Act, through personal testimony, public protest, art and culture.
2017-06-03
2017-09-19
The exhibition showcases a display of wizarding books, manuscripts and magical objects.
2017-10-20
2018-02-28
A display of rarely-seen records, players and recorders, exploring how technology has transformed our listening experience.
2017-10-06
2018-03-11

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