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External and internal spaces of the British Library:

Entrance courtyard

Second floor view

Upper terrace



Gold, an exhibition at the British Library running from 20 May - 2 October 2022, is focused on the use of gold to illuminate manuscripts and for the binding and enclosure of books. 17 different languages are highlighted from 20 countries, dating from the 5th century to the 1920's. All artefact illustrations are images taken through glass in the soft, exhibition light.

Saint Etheldreda founded the Abbey of Ely in 672. The Abbey was refounded in 970 and this book dates from 971. The present cathedral is on roughly the same site.

The Octagon at Ely Cathedral

Buddhist Thai lacquered gold book cover

Lives of the Buddha

Hindi scroll

Armenian book cover

Gold seal of Emperor Baldwin II

Calicut diplomatic treaty with the Dutch on gold

Art Deco binding on goatskin by Pierre-Émile Legrain

Illuminated gospels

In the permanent display you can also see illuminated books - Hymns for Augustinian Friars, Siena, 1415

I really love the spaces - so brilliantly designed - and the finishes, and how they have been so well kept for 35 years.

The chequerboard of the entrance courtyard subtly continues indoors