From its medieval origins to modern usage, an exhibition exploring the significance of this monumental 800 year-old document.

The Magna Carta's importance is matched only by the widespread ignorance surrounding its form and content. The Royal Mint issued an 800th anniversary coin showing the charter being signed – in fact it was sealed. David Cameron was lambasted for failing to give chatshow host David Letterman an English translation of the name (it's 'Great Charter'), then pledged to add the Charter to the national curriculum to promote 'social, economic and political freedoms', failing to mention the passages that codified anti-semitism and misogyny.

To mark the Charter's 800th anniversary the British Library is bringing together all four surviving copies for the first time in history, hopefully putting an end to those misconceptions once and for all.

British Library

96 Euston Road, London, Greater London, NW1 2DB

01937 546546


Opening times

Main building

Mon – Thu, 9.30am – 8pm

Fri, 9.30am –​6pm (Sat until 5pm)

​Sun, 11am-5pm

Treasures Gallery and PACCAR exhibitions

Tue –Thu, 9.30am-8pm, Mon & Fri until 6pm, Sat until 5pm, Sun 11am – 5pm

Free to all

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