Village of Haddenham

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

Sue Toner 01
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 15 Jan 3:45pm

From Tuesday 4th February the Haddenham Community Library will be opening 30 minutes later on a weekday morning.On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the new opening time will be 9.30am. The slightly later opening time is to encourage people with young school children who are interested in volunteering in the library to be able to do so. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact...

Chiltern House 03
Haddenham Webteam: Mon 13 Jan 6:45pm

The owner of Chiltern House, a commercial property located on Thame Road close to several other small commercial premises on the Thame side of Browns, has lodged an appeal challenging the AVDC decision to refuse re-development of the building as residential accommodation. An informal hearing will be held on Thursday 30th January in Aylesbury. Here's the official notification. Town &...

Youth Theatre Square Graphic
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 08 Jan 6:30pm

On Friday 31st January and Saturday 1st February, Haddenham Youth Theatre is presenting three productions at the Haddenham Community Junior School, one for each age group.Juniors: 'Smugglers' — absolutely no revenue avoidance... and is that rum or something a little more explosive?!Middle Group: 'Get Your Homework Done' — the imagination of a young writer brought to life...