A Park Grand guide to the British Library


Boasting the esteemed title of the second largest library in the world, it’s fair to say that the British Library should be high up on the bucket list of all book lovers.

Established in 1973, the library only falls behind the Library of Congress in terms of size and the volume of material it houses.

Acting as a major research library, the building contains many documents in different languages and formats, including books, journals, magazines and videos.

Amazingly, the library also receives a copy of every single publication that is produced in the UK every single day, which is approximately 8,000 documents.

The library holds well over 15 million items, some dating back as far as 2000 BC. While we doubt you will have time to get around to seeing all of them, it’s well worth a visit to this iconic British institution.

After a day at the British library, what could be better than settling into your room at the Hotel Park Grand Paddington with your favourite book and relaxing in style?

With so much to see and do at the British library you are sure to have a fun-filled and educational day.

See the library in all its glory

The best way to experience and learn about the British Library is to book onto a tour, where you will be guided through the building to learn about its history, collections and architecture. You will have the opportunity to see some of the most iconic works that the library houses, including the King’s collection, which once belonged to George III.

Enjoy the varied range of exhibitions on offer

There are tons of different exhibitions at the British Library to enjoy, so you are sure to find something to appreciate. Below are some of the upcoming exhibits to look out for:

Listen: 140 years of recorded sound

Showing from 6th October- 11th March 2018

Experience the sounds of some of the rarest, unpublished recordings at this exhibition that celebrates sound and its significance since the phonograph was invented in 1877. One fascinating recording in this exhibition is of 16-year-old Alfred Taylor, whose ‘Wireless Log’ in 1922 can be compared to a modern-day vlog.

Harry Potter: A history of magic

Showing 20th October – 28th February

Calling all magic buffs, this exhibition is an insight into the world of potions and mythical creatures. In this unique exhibition you will get chance to see rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection. Folklore and magic is at the heart of Harry Potter stories and you will also get the chance to see original drafts and drawings by J.K Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay.

After an afternoon spent learning about witches and spells, check-in to your room at the Hotel Park Grand Paddington for a stay that will be just as magical.

Attend a talk or lecture

Robert Irwin on Season of Migration to the North: ‘The most important Arabic novel of the 20th Century’

Showing 7th November

The book has been subject to much analysis and criticism regarding its treatment of colonialism and anti-colonialism, but it has still managed to earn its esteemed title. Sit back as historian and writer Robert Irwin sifts through some of the complexities of this book to uncover just why it is so significant.