Visiting the British Library

We performed our usual shopping run to Sainsbury’s this morning and then…

Mercer’s for coffee
Mercer’s for coffee

…we called in at Mercer’s for coffee on the way home.

Sunshine in Amwell
Sunshine in Amwell

After lunch, we went to the deli in Amwell Street for coffee. Tigger expressed her wish to do some study at the British Library, if it should be open. We therefore walked to the bus stop in Pentonville Road.

Aboard the 476
Aboard the 476

We jumped on the first bus to arrive which happened to be a 476.

King’s Cross Station
King’s Cross Station

The Lighthouse at King’s Cross
The Lighthouse at King’s Cross

The bus took us to King’s Cross Station. As that is its terminus, we had either to change to another bus or walk to the library.

Arriving at the British Library
Arriving at the British Library

As it wasn’t far, we chose to walk. Would the library be open, though? When we arrived, we saw people entering and leaving, so it seemed to be open. So far, so good.

Inside the British Library
Inside the British Library

We entered the library and it seemed fairly busy. All the study seats in the public area were occupied, mainly by young people, all seemingly studying hard.

Choose a locker, any locker…
Choose a locker, any locker…

As bags are not allowed in the reading rooms (understandably enough), our first port of call was the locker room. We chose the yellow lockers this time around. How it works is thus: you put your belongings in the locker, close the door, think up a four-digit PIN and enter this on the keypad twice. Now try the door and if you entered the same number twice, the door will be locked.

Busts of the Great and Good
Busts of the Great and Good

When we went to the reading room, however, we found it closed! Everything in the library was open, except the bit we wanted. We sat for a while on a relatively comfortable seat in the corridor, overlooked by four busts of famous people of the past.

Sir John Ritblat Gallery
Sir John Ritblat Gallery

Opposite where we were sitting was the Sir John Ritblat Gallery where there was an exhibition, Treasures of the British library. We decided to go in and take a look.

General view of the exhibition
General view of the exhibition

The lighting was subdued, of course, because strong light can have deleterious effects on books and, indeed, on other articles. The exhibition was large and very varied – the BL has lots of treasures! So I can show only a few samples.

Music…
Music…

There were books on music,…

Literature…
Literature…

…books on literature,…

Maps and views…
Maps and views…

Globes…
Globes…

…books of maps and other sorts of views and a case of globes,…

Art of the book
Art of the book

…and, not least, a fascinating section on the art of the book, showing some of the strange and wonderful variations on the basic theme of the book.

Walking back to King’s Cross
Walking back to King’s Cross

Afterwards, having recovered our possessions for the yellow lockers (typing in the PIN only once this time), we walked back down to King’s Cross.

Black Sheep Coffee
Black Sheep Coffee

We there called in at the local branch of Black Sheep Coffee…

Latte and black americano Photo by Tigger
Latte and black americano
Photo by Tigger

…for our usual order of a latte and a black americano.

Aboard the 214
Aboard the 214

After our coffee break, we walked up the road to the bus stop, reaching it almost at the same time as a number 214 bus. We boarded this and it carried us back up the hill to the Angel and home.

—————————-

Tomorrow, September 19th 2022, has been declared a bank holiday for the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II. We have no reason to stay in London for this and have therefore planned an outing. I will recount it as and when it happens.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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