British Library@britishlibrary

We're the national library of the UK. We'd like to show you some of our beautiful collections and tell the stories of the people who use them.

ow.ly/sIKe50kf3fE

843 posts 230,475 followers 96 following

British Library

To take our mind off #BlueMonday, we thought we'd have a look at a different type of blue in the collection. Decorative paper has long been used for covers and end-leaves in books. These are from the Olga Hirsch collection of decorated papers.


7

British Library

Meet Pinguinaria Patachonica this #PenguinAwarenessDay.

Image taken from 'Musei Leveriani explicatio, Anglica et Latina' by George Shaw and James Fittler, 1792. Shelfmark: 40.e.15


27

British Library

Do you know your abcd from your adcd? Typos are no new phenomenon, with this Anglo-Saxon student clearly needing a helping hand with their alphabet.
The page comes from a 9th-century letter collection which was consulted in the classroom to teach the art of letter writing. Learn more about what it was like to be a student in early medieval England (link in bio). #BLAngloSaxons


8

British Library

The #NewYearsResolution at the top of everyone’s list: learn to swim the 16th-century woodcut way. Now just to find two birds to perfect that technique… (From 'The Art of Swimming' which is considered the first English treatise on swimming)


51

British Library

Have you spotted King Edgar in our Entrance Hall? He’s waiting patiently for you to celebrate #MuseumSelfie Day with him.
Get creative and post your photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by 22 Feb 2019, including #BLAngloSaxons, for your chance to win a luxury stay at @stpancrasren. T&Cs apply (click on the link in our bio). Don't leave him hanging!


7

British Library

‘Your tragic suffering brings me sorrow, since the pagans have desecrated God’s sanctuary, shed the blood of saints around the altar, laid waste the house of our hope and trampled the bodies of the saints like dung in the street.’ This vivid description written in 793 from Anglo-Saxon Chronicle D: Cotton MS Tiberius B IV, f. 26v, describing a raid on Lindisfarne, is perhaps our earliest written record of the activities of the 'Vikings' in England.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Who were the 'Vikings', and what do we really know about them? Click on the link in our bio to read more. Spoiler: the popular idea that they wore horned helmets is more fiction than fact. #BLAngloSaxons


14

British Library

Thinking of trying your hand at a musical instrument for your #NewYearsResolution? Elgar’s Enigma Variations, on display in our #BLTreasures Gallery, is perhaps something to aspire to.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The last page shows the closing bars of the Finale, with Elgar’s signature and the note: ‘Great is the art of beginning, but greater the art is of ending’. Click on the link in our bio to see more pages.


6

British Library

Planning to discover your artistic flair and take up a spot of illustrating for 2019's #NewYearsResolution? Here's Audubon's spectacular Birds of America in case you needed a spot of inspiration...
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
John James Audubon (1785 – 1851) was an ornithologist of the early 19th-century responsible for creating the largest and most beautiful illustrated bird book ever. The monumental size of the book came from Audubon’s insistence on portraying the birds life size (and they had to fit in the flamingo). He travelled widely in search of specimens and like his great four -volume book, Audubon was one of the most colourful characters in the history of natural history. Explore more with #BLTreasures. Click the link in our bio.


4

British Library

Have you read 'The boy who drew cats'? In this Japanese fairy tale, a farmer’s son is sent to study with a priest but he spends all his time drawing cats. Suggesting to the boy that he would be better suited as an artist, the priest sends him away and advises him to ‘avoid large places at night; keep to small’. See how this story unfolds at our free #BLCats exhibition while meeting other cats on the page. (Image: Japanese Fairy Tale series, 1905)


19

British Library

Woke up feeling like this? Amazingly, the Anglo-Saxons may have found an unexpected answer for swollen eyes this #NewYearsDay. Visit the link in our bio to find out. But maybe don’t try this at home. #BLAngloSaxons


23

British Library

Here are some fireworks to light up your #NewYearsEve. How are you ringing in 2019? (Illustration by George Barbier, 1924)


5

British Library

Wishing you a very #MerryChristmas from everyone at the British Library!
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Image: 'The reindeer sprang up high for joy...' from The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen; drawings by Katharine Beverley and Elizabeth Ellender (YD.2004.b.454)


7