Already seen everything good on Netflix? And Amazon Prime? Join a library (or two) and tap into the endless riches of some of London’s book depositories.
According to its website, “it was established in 1841 at a time when there were no lending libraries in London and before state-funded libraries existed. Frustrated by being unable to borrow books in London, author Thomas Carlyle began gathering support for a lending library and created a founding committee in April 1840 to oversee the work of raising launch funds.”
Despite being badly damaged by bombs during World War II, it bounced back to continue to spread good words.
The world’s biggest library is at your fingertips. The venerable British Library has something like 200 million items in its collections. And by law, every document, book, etc. published in the United Kingdom must send a copy to the British Library, so it is always growing! Among other things, it has extensive digital collections, archives and exhibitions you can enjoy from the comfort of home.
What makes this library unique is its focus on the social history of London, and especially LGBTQ+ topics. According to its website, “We have 150,000 books, pamphlets, maps and photographs of London. The Lesbian and Gay News media Archive (LAGNA) alone holds 350,000 press cuttings. The photographic archives over 500,000 images.”
It has online archives and activities to get you through lockdown.
What’s your favourite/local London library?
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