I have mentioned before on this blog about my love of visiting libraries and museums, and I would love to visit more this year, There are so many cool exhibitions open at any one time in the UK and so many are free!
Last summer I made a few trips to London and went to the British Library, and it was amazing to see original material related to my studies at uni. They had some of Jane Austen’s handwritten letters and even her tiny writing desk. They also had some breathtaking medieval manuscripts from around the world. It was so interesting seeing the intricate books of prayer such as the Beford Hours in all its illuminated glory. I also got to see some very old Sanskrit writing that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
In some cases, seeing manuscripts can actually be ‘in the flesh’, such as the Magna Carta, an 800 year old legal document inscribed on goat’s skin. Despite being a vegetarian, I found a strange sense of enjoyment in seeing this skin laid out before me. It was eerily exciting to see the physical manifestation of what many see as the ideology underpinning English law. Specifically, the right to a fair trial.
If you ever find yourself near King’s Cross station with time to spare, it’s worth seeing what’s going on at the British Library. I also went to an amazing Shakespeare exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. I also have a friend who’s curating a poetry exhibit at Christ’s College Library on 17th July so hopefully I can make that!