British Museum Library

British Museum Library


located in London; the largest library in Great Britain. It carries out the functions of a national library. One of the largest libraries in the world.

The British Museum Library was founded in 1753. According to 1969 data, its collections amount to approximately 7 million volumes of printed publications and 200,000 manuscripts in European languages, 250,000 printed books and 38,000 manuscripts in Oriental languages, 500,000 geographic maps, and approximately 1 million copies of musical scores. The national reference division on science and inventions receives approximately 20,000 scientific and technical journals and possesses 110,000 volumes (11 million items) of patents. The annual growth in the collections of the British Museum Library exceeds 1 million items. The British Museum Library preserves Egyptian, Greek, and Roman papyruses and more than 10,000 incunabula. Of special importance are the collections of literature on botany, zoology, geology, and mineralogy. There are also collections of printed publications from the time of the English Revolution of the 17th century and the Great French Revolution.

The British Museum Library has six reading rooms with 670 seats for readers. The most famous of these is the main (round) reading room constructed by Panizzi in the middle of the 19th century. It was in this room that K. Marx worked on his Capital during the 1850’s and 1860’s. V. I. Lenin also worked there during the years 1902–03, 1907, and 1908. Lenin had a high opinion of the collections of the British Museum Library, especially of the collection of Russian literature.

The publishing house connected with the British Museum Library issues a current national bibliography entitled The British National Bibliography and prints cards for British books. The latest edition (1964) of the printed catalogs of the British Museum Library contains 263 volumes with supplements.


Esdaile, A. The British Museum Library. London, [1948].


References in periodicals archive ?
It was his grandson who, in 1753, donated the book to the new British Museum Library, which became the British Library in 1973.
The first scheme for the British Museum Library (1962-64) was a vital link in the evolution of the final British Library design.
A medieval Latin-English dictionary; based on a set of unpublished 15th century manuscripts, Medulla grammaticae/ Marrow of grammer, kept in the British Museum library.
The British Museum Library bought it at Sotheby's in 1947 for pounds 441.
For nearly all of that period this came down to matters of fenestration; at the very end, following improvements in materials science, some minor innovations in flooring were added--metal grilles, as in the stacks of the British Museum Library, or glass, for example at the University of Illinois.
There are a lot of dead bodies strewn between Marx's desk at the British Museum Library and what Francis Fukuyama called "the end of history.
This seems to be placing this library completely subsidiary to the Humanities Section, formerly known as the British Museum Library.
Using manuscripts from the Locke Room of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the British Museum Library, and the Public Records Office, M.
Provenance Cathedral Chapter Library, Benevento; bookseller, Naples, 1943-44; Captain Douglas George Eric Dacre Ash, Naples and London, 1944; Sotheby's, London, 23 June 1947; Quaritch, London, 1947; British Museum Library, 1947; British Library, 1973.
Throughout Rewal has pursued the great nineteenth- and twentieth-century tradition, coming from Sidney Smirke at the British Museum Library and Hans Asplund in Stockholm, of introducing light from clerestories high up in each volume, which is filtered by the space until it arrives gently on the readers' desks.
Thomas Carlyle and Karl Marx both worked in Sydney Smirke's British Museum library, but emerged with radically different views about the nature of society; Lenin and George Bernard Shaw must have been contemporaries there too, but, although both were left wing, the Irishman had nothing of the iron fanaticism of the Russian, nor the Russian the wit of the Irish.

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