Library of Libraries

Yesterday afternoon I walked to St Pancras to have a look at the British Library and a few other sights in the area. I left it rather late in the afternoon, so spent most of my time there.  It has the most amazing collection of rare books, some of which you can view for free.  If you’ve ever wanted to see what Jane Austen’s or a Bronte’s handwriting looked like, this is the place.  There were beautiful illuminated manuscripts from many areas of the world and I was able to have a look at the Magna Carta and the Codex Sinaiticus – the oldest version of the Bible (and certainly the New Testament) still around. It was all housed in a low light area to preserve the items on display but if you have a thing for books, you should definitely visit. The rest of the public space was quite airy but like any good library, there were piles of people hidden away in corners (and planted on any other available surface) using the free wifi. I also listened to a multimedia exhibition about the power of public speaking, which was really good.

British Library

British Library

massive sculpture in the courtyard

massive sculpture in the courtyard

Punch sculpture in terrace courtyard

Punch sculpture in terrace courtyard

inside the British Library

inside the British Library

interesting book sculpture that doubles as a chair

interesting book sculpture that doubles as a chair

just so you know where we are

just so you know where we are

I also wandered down the block to take some photos of the beautiful St Pancras station (and Harry Potter related platform at King’s Cross) but it was not to be. St Pancras is almost completely covered in scaffolding as a result of the apartment/hotel development going on inside the structure and I was so put off by that, that I forgot to walk across the road to King’s Cross and be a nerd there. It’s not too far away though, so I’ll try and go back another day.

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