Established as an independent institution in 1973, the British Library is the largest library in the world, with well over 150 million items in its collection.
Since 1997 the library has been housed in a purpose-built building at St Pancras in London, and continues to add around three million items to its collection each year.
As a legal deposit library, the British Library is sent one copy of everything published in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. In addition to newly published books, the library is home to several manuscripts of huge historic significance, from Beowulf to the Magna Carta. These and others are on display to the general public at the library's Sir John Ritblat Gallery, which is open daily with no admission charge. The museum also has an exciting exhibitions programme, which draws upon its own collections and loans from elsewhere.