Located near King's Cross station, the British Library has a small museum that basically tells the history of writing, which contains some valuable and interesting treasures.
There is a statue of a naked Sir Isaac Newton in front of the building, which does look like a typical library building. When going inside, the museum exhibition is located on the left side.
The exhibition part is dimly lit, probably to help preserve the old manuscripts, which are very sensitive to light. As a result, photography is not allowed at all. A disappointment for sure, but at the same time, I can understand why the rule is in place!
There are a bunch of religious texts, such as the Koran and gospels from the Bible, on display from different time periods, which basically takes you through the history of writing and printing. From the times when it was done by hand, to when it was produced by the printing press, an invention by Gutenberg. He made it possible to mass produce the copies of Bible in different languages, whereas before, it was only in Latin.
Some of the other items include earliest copies of "Alice In Wonderland" and other books, works by William Shakespeare, and song lyrics by the Beatles, among others. Plus some old maps and globes as well.
The Magna Carta was suppose to be on display, but when I was there, it was somewhere else for a special exhibition. That would have cost money, so I did not see it.
As someone who likes to write and read, and still prefers to write journals by hand, this was an interesting place for me. Though not quite a must-see, as it is a small museum. But I think it is worth a look for anyone who likes to look at old manuscripts and first copies of famous copies. Plus admission is free, and definitely not a waste of time.
Also, it is open late (until 8pm) on some days of the week, so definitely something to do when every other attraction is closed by that time of day.
Check the web site for more info.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.