Treasures of the British Library
The world’s most beautiful and important books and documents, from Magna Carta and Gutenberg’s Bible, to the music of the Beatles
The Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Library Gallery hosts more than 200 beautiful and fascinating items: magnificent hand-painted books from many faiths, maps and views, early printed books, literary, historical, scientific and musical works from over the centuries and around the world. Here are just a few of the objects you can see:
- Gutenberg’s Bible of 1455
- Magna Carta
- Codex Sinaiticus
- Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook
- Handel’s Messiah – in the composer’s hand
- Celestial globe, 110cm across
- Handwritten lyrics by the Beatles
Visions of Utopia
Until 18 September
Visit our free temporary display and discover one of the most influential books in Western literature – Thomas More’s Utopia. Marking the 500th anniversary of its publication, this unique display will look at the context in which More wrote the original Utopia and at different visions and meanings of Utopia up to the present day. Written during the reign of Henry VIII, the book was an instant best seller and has continued to inspire readers, writers and thinkers throughout the centuries.
See close up one of the world’s only surviving original editions of Utopia, an original diplomatic letter to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, signed by More and others and many other precious items.