Haddenham Bucks

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

Unhappy Doctor 01
Helen Salisbury: Mon 16 May 6:30pm

Following recent criticisms in certain national newspapers and on social media of the current state of General Practice in this country, we have chosen to reproduce a letter published in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal, written by a GP based in Oxfordshire.Where have our GPs gone?That question topped the 3 May front page of the Daily Mail--a tabloid newspaper not known for...

Queen's Platinum Jubilee
Haddenham Webteam: Mon 16 May 1:37pm

Haddenham St Mary's CE school are going to be celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a special week at school next week (23rd-26th May). The week is going to culminate in a 1950's Tea Party on the Thursday afternoon where children will celebrate with their parents. We would love to invite anyone local who has a vintage car to bring their car along on the afternoon of the...

James Orford
Haddenham Webteam: Mon 16 May 11:15am

On Thursday 5th May, after a two year hiatus, an "Aperitif Recital" was held at St Marys Church.The recital was given by James Orford, organist at Eton College, assistant director of music at St Pauls' Church Knightsbridge and former organist at Westminster Cathedral.He delighted the audience with music by Duruflé, Vivaldi and others. James delivered a fantastic performance...