British Library

ImageIf you think reading a newspaper at the British Library is an easy matter – think again!

It all starts with a Reader Card which takes about 20 minutes to register online prior to your visit to receive a ‘pre-registration Reader Number’. Once in the library, there’s a queue to speak to the receptionist who checks your two forms of ID. She directs you to a computer terminal to complete the registration process, after which you sit in the waiting room until your number is called and you are beckoned to another desk where your ID is shown and registered. There you’re asked to read an A4 page stating what you can and can’t do. If you want to access anything more valuable than a newspaper, supporting evidence of your purpose is required.

Then it’s down to the basement to lock up all your belongings – apart from notebook, pencil (no pens) and laptop – in a locker. These few items are permitted in the reading room in a clear plastic bag provided and checked by security on entering and leaving Reading Room. It makes airport security seem lax.

After all that I had a pleasant few hours reading the 1956 editions of ‘The Times’ on microfiche. It’s a great way to get a sense of what was going on for people, the language and the mood of the times – particularly reading the Personal columns. The ads are always interesting and this was one of my favourites.

IMG_0589

 

Advertisements

One thought on “British Library

  1. Despite the hoo-hah, I’d love to get into those microfiche. I’m excited about the ability to creep back into the past like that…..like a voyeur from the future, looking through the events of those who don’t yet know the outcome of their actions.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s