Haddenham.net

Volunteers Visit the British Library

Home » News » Untitled article
British Library 01c
British Library 02

On Wednesday 9th May, 27 volunteers of the Haddenham Community Library visited the British Library (BL) on a trip brilliantly organised by librarian Alison Gilbert. The outing was a great success.

The group was received by BL staff and given a guided tour in two groups, each with an excellent guide. Most of the group had not visited before and were immensely impressed by the building's architecture and design and the story of how it came to be built. The architect was Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson. Building took 30 years, with political wrangles, overspends and planning issues, finally opening in 1997.

The library shares its collection with its branch at Boston Spa near Wetherby, which houses two thirds of everything. Orders to see a book are turned round in 70 minutes in London or two days if they are at Boston Spa, from where a truck travels every day.

The BL building has 1.6 KM of conveyor belt to bring books to readers from the stacks which include four basement levels with very sophisticated temperature and humidity controls. Every book and periodical published has to send a copy to the BL -they receive 10,000 every day. There are 62.5 KM of shelving.

Highlights of the visit included The Kings Library collection of King George the Third in which books are classified by shape, size, weight and colour — no Dewey decimal system! There are statues of the four founders, Hans Sloane, John Cotton, Joseph Banks and Thomas Grenville (of the Stowe family). The real highlight is probably the Treasures room with originals of Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, the Lindisfarne and Tyndale Bibles among many others.

Many of the group decided that they will visit again — the BL is open freely to the public — before repairing to Carluccio's in St Pancras Station for lunch.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Damien & Andy_Montage
David Finch: Wed 03 Jun 11:45am

Andy Coles & Damien Natale; Damien Natale & Andy Coles. However you say it, it's not possible to rationalise the events of Monday evening when the two great friends, cyclists and Sportive organisers from Haddenham both died whilst doing something they so very much enjoyed. Whether they were raising money for charity, creating and putting on events for others or just ensuring their mates had...

Scarecrow Festival 62
Francesca Flaxton: Sun 31 May 6:00pm

Haddenham Scarecrow Festival Open Monday 1st to Sunday 14th JuneTHANK YOU to everyone who has entered this year's Haddenham Association of Scouts & Guides' Scarecrow Festival. We have had a fantastic response with a record breaking 127 entries from all over Haddenham!! Our previous average has been 58 entries, with the highest number in 2018 of 71. In these very challenging times...

Robyn Thorogood
Robyn Thorogood: Sat 30 May 5:00pm

The end of May 2020 sees Robyn Thorogood retire after 27 years of managing Snakemoor Local Nature Reserve. Here he reflects on those years of service to the local communityIn 1993 Haddenham Parish Council (HPC) persuaded me to take on the management of Snakemoor but more about this later. Firstly, how did it all start?It was in 1987 that a few villagers visited Aylesbury Vale District...