British Library’s 20th birthday

The British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom which once occupied the British Museum’s famous Reading Room, was opened by the Queen on its site next to St Pancras Station 20 years ago.

Designed by Sir Colin St John Wilson the building drew criticism when it was first built, but has since earned widespread acclaim. It was the largest building built in the UK in the 20thcentury, and is already listed Grade I.

The library has also mounted major exhibitions, such as Sacred Texts, Magnificent Maps, Magna Cartaand Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

“This anniversary is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what an extraordinary building this is – visionary, utterly unique, inspiring to work in and to visit – and to celebrate the achievement of those who worked so hard to create it” said the library’s chief executives, Roly Keating. 

“As Colin St John Wilson said, ‘it is the essence of the Library to grow’, and we will continue to develop his legacy, evolving the Library’s St Pancras site into one of the world’s greatest 21st century centres of knowledge, meeting the future needs of our users, supporters, the local community and our partners.”



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