The library was established in 1973, but already operated as a library in 1753, even when it was located in the British Museum building. The reason for the expansion was the necessity for a larger and more respectable reading space.
The library has more than 13 million books, 60,000 journals, 9 million articles, 860,000 newspapers, 1.5 million printed music, 57 million patents and trademarks, and 3 million voice recordings. In addition, this huge space hosts large and interesting exhibitions.
The library is defined as a deposit library (a library that is legally required to transfer copies of various publications) and, by law, receives a copy of any book published in the UK and even tries to purchase books printed outside the UK.
In the library you will find some particularly exciting works and documents: the Magna Carta, the first copy of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll's manuscripts (Alice in Wonderland), lyrics of the Beatles written by John Lennon, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and the Codex Sinaiticus (A manuscript from the fourth century).