Summer Sites: The British Library

summersites

The British Library

British Library complex

Probably the most famous library in the UK, the British Library is located in King’s Cross and has the largest collection in the world. Naturally, this includes a significant number of resources concerning medical and healthcare subjects. The Library can get crowded so is not really suitable as study space, however if you are undertaking research or need to consult books on specific topics it is a very useful resource. There is a reading room dedicated to medical and life sciences on the 2nd floor and there are also subject specialists you can contact to help you with your search. To obtain a reader pass you will need to present photographic ID and proof of address, details can be found on the Library homepage: http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/inrrooms/stp/register/stpregister.html

Interior of the British Library

The British Library complex includes a conference centre and exhibition space with a gift shop. The exhibitions at the Library are temporary but have become well known for being imaginatively presented and cover a wide range of topics relating to objects in the collection. The exhibitions are not free but the student concession is generous, usually making tickets available for half the face value. The current exhibition celebrating the signing of the Magna Carta is excellent.

The Foundling Museum

 

Near the British Library

There are two interesting small museums just a short walk from the Library. One is the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square. The Museum is well worth a visit, especially for anyone who is interested in the history of the care and social welfare of children. Apart from the often poignant displays it is a beautiful building in itself crammed with paintings and art. Not far from the Foundling Museum is the The Charles Dickens Museum, located in the writer’s London home on Doughty Street and a must see for anyone who likes the novelist’s work. Both museums charge modest admission prices but there are concessionary rates for students.

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Interior of Dicken’s dining room at The Charles Dickens Museum

 

A sandwich and a cup of coffee?

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The concourse of St Pancras Station is lined with cafes and shops

 

The remarkable St Pancras Station is virtually next door to the Library and contains a range of places to eat and drink. Of particular interest to bookworms is the cafe in the Hatchard’s book shop which sells drinks and cakes. Next door is a mini version of Fortnums and Masons including a small restaurant serving meals and afternoon tea. If you want something to eat before visiting the Library, Plum and Spilt Milk serve up-market breakfasts and coffee. If you fancy a post-study drink the Parcel Yard pub above King’s Cross Station is large and has a decent selection of beer and a full menu. Unusually for a station pub, its size means you can usually find a seat. Don’t forget to have your photograph taken pushing a trolley, Harry Potter style, onto platform 9 3/4 whilst you are there!

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Platform 9 3/4, located close to the Parcel Yard pub in King’s Cross Station

 

The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 0330 333 1144
Email: Customer-Services@bl.uk

Don’t forget– if you cannot make it in to St George’s Library over the summer, there are still many resources that you can access from a computer with internet access (logins may be required). Click here for further information.

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