The British Library

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The British Library's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The British Library is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.bl.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | THE BRITISH LIBRARY
CEO Roly Keating
The busy Reading Rooms
at St Pancras
As a legal deposit library, the British Library has a duty to
collect all material published in the UK. Combined with
remarkable historical archives, the national collection
now exceeds 170 million items. With landmark sites in London
and Boston Spa in West Yorkshire, they work to share this
remarkable collection across the UK and around the world,
showcasing iconic treasures from
Romeo and Juliet
to
Harry
Potter
. CEO Roly Keating tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
It’s nearly five decades since the British Library was established through an Act of
Parliament as part of the nation’s great post-war institution building effort. The
Library has been in the service of research, knowledge and innovation ever since,
combining a timeless responsibility for caring for the national collection of written
and published content with services that provide access to knowledge for people of
all backgrounds across the UK.
Our legal deposit mandate gives us a duty to collect the whole of the UK’s
published output, from books, magazines and research-level journals to local,
regional and national newspapers. Since 2013, this remit has expanded to create a
complementary digital system, collecting electronic publications, ejournals and the
entire .uk webdomain.
An evolving national collection
The constant growth of legal deposit content, allied to remarkable historical collections
dating back thousands of years, means the Library’s collection now exceeds 170
million physical items, including maps, manuscripts, prints, drawings and sound
FACTS ABOUT
THE BRITISH LIBRARY
»CEO: Roly Keating
»Established in 1973
»Based in London and Boston
Spa, West Yorkshire
»Services: Custodianship,
research, business, learning
and international
»No. of employees: 1,600
The British Library
17THE BRITISH LIBRARY |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
recordings. Digital holdings encompass
more than 500 terabytes of web pages,
in addition to around 300,000 ebooks
and over six million ejournal articles.
We also acquire written and published
works of particular significance to the
nation’s heritage. A notable recent
example, through the government’s
Acceptance in Lieu scheme, is the
personal and political archive of Tony
Benn. This is an extraordinary record
of post-war politics and activism and
one that is set to benefit uniquely from
the Library’s custodianship skills: from
the preservation of fragile manuscripts
to the cataloguing of diaries and the
digitisation of sound recordings in
now-obsolete technological formats.
The archive will take its place alongside
other significant political archives,
such as those of Lord Balfour and
WilliamGladstone.
This custodianship underpins the
use of the extraordinary collection
by audiences at the Library’s sites in
Boston Spa, Yorkshire, and St Pancras,
London, as well as all across the UK
and around the world. Last year,
there were over 424,000 visits to our
Reading Rooms at St Pancras and
Boston Spa, with readers requesting
some 1.52 million items and a further
3.95 million objects consulted online.
There were 26 million visits to our
website, including over eight million
visitors to our online learning resources
for teachers and students. Hundreds
of thousands enjoy a vibrant cultural
programme of world-class events
and exhibitions, and our Business
& Intellectual Property Centre in St
Pancras is visited nearly 100,000 times
a year by entrepreneurs looking to
start and grow their businesses.
Growing our reach through
national and global networks
The model of our Business & Intellectual
Property Centre has now been adopted
by public libraries in 13 cities from Exeter
to Glasgow, providing entrepreneurs
and SMEs with information and support
from the first spark of inspiration
to taking their ideas successfully to
market. Over the past year, we have
welcomed new centres in Glasgow,
Nottingham and Peterborough.
Our pioneering work leading the
Living Knowledge Network of 22 city
libraries, together with our colleagues
in the National Libraries of Scotland
and Wales, moved this year to a new
sustainable funding model following
a grant-supported pilot. The network
delivers a growing programme of skills
and knowledge exchange, alongside a
hugely popular series of live-streamed
events and collaborative exhibitions.
In 2017-18, our blockbuster exhibition
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
reached
Engaging Chinese
audiences with iconic
Library treasures
Harry Potter: A History
of Magic
enchanted
audiences across the UK
A timeless
responsibility
for caring for
the national
collection of
written and
published
content
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | THE BRITISH LIBRARY
CEO Roly Keating
The busy Reading Rooms
at St Pancras
As a legal deposit library, the British Library has a duty to
collect all material published in the UK. Combined with
remarkable historical archives, the national collection
now exceeds 170 million items. With landmark sites in London
and Boston Spa in West Yorkshire, they work to share this
remarkable collection across the UK and around the world,
showcasing iconic treasures from
Romeo and Juliet
to
Harry
Potter
. CEO Roly Keating tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
It’s nearly five decades since the British Library was established through an Act of
Parliament as part of the nation’s great post-war institution building effort. The
Library has been in the service of research, knowledge and innovation ever since,
combining a timeless responsibility for caring for the national collection of written
and published content with services that provide access to knowledge for people of
all backgrounds across the UK.
Our legal deposit mandate gives us a duty to collect the whole of the UK’s
published output, from books, magazines and research-level journals to local,
regional and national newspapers. Since 2013, this remit has expanded to create a
complementary digital system, collecting electronic publications, ejournals and the
entire .uk webdomain.
An evolving national collection
The constant growth of legal deposit content, allied to remarkable historical collections
dating back thousands of years, means the Library’s collection now exceeds 170
million physical items, including maps, manuscripts, prints, drawings and sound
FACTS ABOUT
THE BRITISH LIBRARY
»CEO: Roly Keating
»Established in 1973
»Based in London and Boston
Spa, West Yorkshire
»Services: Custodianship,
research, business, learning
and international
»No. of employees: 1,600
The British Library
17THE BRITISH LIBRARY |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
recordings. Digital holdings encompass
more than 500 terabytes of web pages,
in addition to around 300,000 ebooks
and over six million ejournal articles.
We also acquire written and published
works of particular significance to the
nation’s heritage. A notable recent
example, through the government’s
Acceptance in Lieu scheme, is the
personal and political archive of Tony
Benn. This is an extraordinary record
of post-war politics and activism and
one that is set to benefit uniquely from
the Library’s custodianship skills: from
the preservation of fragile manuscripts
to the cataloguing of diaries and the
digitisation of sound recordings in
now-obsolete technological formats.
The archive will take its place alongside
other significant political archives,
such as those of Lord Balfour and
WilliamGladstone.
This custodianship underpins the
use of the extraordinary collection
by audiences at the Library’s sites in
Boston Spa, Yorkshire, and St Pancras,
London, as well as all across the UK
and around the world. Last year,
there were over 424,000 visits to our
Reading Rooms at St Pancras and
Boston Spa, with readers requesting
some 1.52 million items and a further
3.95 million objects consulted online.
There were 26 million visits to our
website, including over eight million
visitors to our online learning resources
for teachers and students. Hundreds
of thousands enjoy a vibrant cultural
programme of world-class events
and exhibitions, and our Business
& Intellectual Property Centre in St
Pancras is visited nearly 100,000 times
a year by entrepreneurs looking to
start and grow their businesses.
Growing our reach through
national and global networks
The model of our Business & Intellectual
Property Centre has now been adopted
by public libraries in 13 cities from Exeter
to Glasgow, providing entrepreneurs
and SMEs with information and support
from the first spark of inspiration
to taking their ideas successfully to
market. Over the past year, we have
welcomed new centres in Glasgow,
Nottingham and Peterborough.
Our pioneering work leading the
Living Knowledge Network of 22 city
libraries, together with our colleagues
in the National Libraries of Scotland
and Wales, moved this year to a new
sustainable funding model following
a grant-supported pilot. The network
delivers a growing programme of skills
and knowledge exchange, alongside a
hugely popular series of live-streamed
events and collaborative exhibitions.
In 2017-18, our blockbuster exhibition
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
reached
Engaging Chinese
audiences with iconic
Library treasures
Harry Potter: A History
of Magic
enchanted
audiences across the UK
A timeless
responsibility
for caring for
the national
collection of
written and
published
content
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | THE BRITISH LIBRARY
not just 170,000 visitors to the London
exhibition but also – through the
Living Knowledge Network – a further
750,000 people with linked exhibitions
in more than 40 public libraries in the
UK. The exhibition has since toured to
New York and travels onward to Japan
in autumn 2019, illustrating the Library’s
flourishing work on the global stage.
This is a powerful example of how the
UK’s extraordinary cultural sector works
with partners all around the world
through the advancement of culture,
knowledge and mutual understanding.
Over the last two years, our HM
Treasury-funded programme “The
British Library in China: connecting
through learning and culture” staged
exhibitions and events in Beijing,
Wuzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong,
thrilling more than 100,000 visitors with
original manuscripts and early editions
of Dickens, Conan Doyle and the
Brontës. We also made more than 200
such treasures available online through
our first ever Chinese-language website.
Working closely with partners in India,
we have digitised 1.3 million pages
from early Bengali printed books,
while our partnership with the Qatar
Foundation – which this year entered
a third phase – has digitised and
made available online more than a
million pages of documents relating
to Gulf history and Arabic scientific
manuscripts. The Library’s Endangered
Archives Programme, which has
worked with over 350 projects in
over 90 countries since 2004, recently
entered a second phase with generous
funding from the Arcadia Foundation.
The programme works with local
partners and people to digitise and
protect archives at risk of damage.
Securing our future
Funding for such initiatives, and the
work we do more broadly, comes from
a diverse range of sources, and we
make use of innovative funding models
wherever possible. The recent signing
in February 2019 of a development
agreement with commercial partners
to develop a 2.8-acre site to the north
of our St Pancras estate is a powerful
demonstration of this. At no additional
cost to the exchequer, the Library will
be able to deliver 100,000 square
feet of new spaces to grow its offer
across our public purposes, as well as a
new headquarters for the Alan Turing
Institute, the UK’s national centre for
data science and artificial intelligence.
Fundamentally, though, the nature
of our underpinning legislation,
and the range of public purposes it
ascribes to us, requires continuing
levels of grant- in-aid investment.
These purposes are set out in our
Living Knowledge: The British Library
2015-23
strategy, articulating an
overarching vision to become the
most open, creative and innovative
institution of its kind anywhere in
the world. These are times of historic
disruption, change and opportunity
in how knowledge is created, shared
and utilised. The year 2019 marks the
halfway point in our strategic journey,
and if you have never stepped into the
British Library – whether in London
or Yorkshire – I warmly invite you to
come and experience the remarkable
ways our collections continue to inspire
creativity, innovation and enjoyment.
Hundreds of
thousands
enjoy a vibrant
cultural
programme of
world-class
events and
exhibitions and
our Business &
Intellectual
Property
Centre in St
Pancras is
visited nearly
100,000 times
a year
Online learning
resources were used
over 8 million times last
year
19THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE AND MUSEUM |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
CEO Phil Lyons
Our main entrance – open to all and
currently attracting 30,000 visitors
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum, based in
Laxton, Nottinghamshire, are committed to promoting an
understanding of the roots of discrimination and prejudice
and the development of ethical values to try and improve society
as a whole. Using the history of genocide as a model, they strive
to ensure that future generations learn from these tragedies.
Comprising two permanent exhibitions and a memorial garden,
they educate those of all ages, from school children to adults.
CEO Phil Lyons MBE tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
The Holocaust: the single most important set of events in history and one that
confirms the fragility of civilised society and the consequences of unfettered
prejudice and hatred.
Before and after the Holocaust, history has shown that when some people are
excluded from the life of a nation, it is a small step to exclude them physically, by
forced deportation or even mass murder.
It is probably the most researched and documented period of modern history
and with the benefit of 75 years of enquiry and reflection, we have a clear sense
of those incremental steps that ultimately led to atrocity on a massive scale. You
would think its salutary lesson would last forever.
But what of today?
How do we help young people lay down the sort of values that will fashion
communities of the future?
FACTS ABOUT
THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST
CENTRE AND MUSEUM
»CEO: Phil Lyons MBE
»Established in 1995
»Based in Laxton, Newark,
Nottinghamshire
»Services: Holocaust museum
and education centre
»No. of employees: 30
»30,000 visitors a year, mainly
from the Midlands and the
North
»www.holocaust.org.uk
The National Holocaust
Centre and Museum

www.bl.uk

This article was sponsored by The British Library. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster