Yesterday was my first visit to the British Library and I’m in love! It is the most magical place. In addition to having the most amazing research collection (I read some statistic that if you were to look at 5 books from their collection per day it would take 80,000 years to get through it all!), it is just a really lovely space. The shops, the exhibition galleries, the excited hush of the reading rooms, the helpful staff, etc. were all more wonderful than I had anticipated. When they took my picture for my reader’s card I was grinning like an idiot!
I spent the day reading a 19th century periodical called The Animals’ Friend — published by a break-away group of the SPCA (before they became the RSPCA). I wanted to order copies of some of the images from the various issues, but since they were pre-1850 they needed to be scanned by the staff at a cost of £1 per page. I ended up spending £36 on copies! Yikes! This is pretty rare stuff though, so I handed over the cash and tried not to automatically convert the price to Canadian dollars in my head as I didn’t want to faint on that lovely carpet in the rare books reading room!