Mick Manning and Brita Granström have produced a wonderfully illustrated history of the British Library, while at the same time a celebration of books and libraries. The welcome page introduces the reader to the library, when it was built, how many bricks were used to build it and how many tonnes of concrete used. The book then starts to explore the incredible collection, beginning with an account of The St Cuthbert Gospel, discovered in a coffin. From here the reader learns of many historical documents and books, the Magna Carta and the Canterbury Tales, the first book printed in England, to name just two. There are cookery books, medical books, and books by famous authors. The library also holds sheet music, newspapers and notebooks of scientists. There really is something for everyone in this book, a wealth of information on many, many topics.
The illustrations are as captivating and informative as the verbal text. They employ collage, watercolour and digital art and are involved and fascinating. Repeated viewing shows more information each time.
Further information can be found at the back of the book along with a glossary.
As a librarian and lover of books, I may be bias in saying this book is superb. I invite you to view it for yourself, make up your own mind. This book should be on every public library shelf where all can access it. For lovers of books and history, get yourself a copy. You will not be disappointed. This beautifully presented factual picture book, about books, is a real treat.
Many thanks to Walker Books for supplying this book for review.