Tour of the British Library, 24 April 2019

Written by: Sylvia Park  |  Posted on: May 1st, 2019

On 24th April BKS members had a chance to enjoy a private tour of the British Library and a viewing of highlights from its East Asian collections with the Library’s curator Hamish Todd, Head of East Asian Collections.

The British Library is the home to the national library of the UK. It has a collection of over 170 million items and artefacts ‘from every age of written civilisation’.

We had a  private tour and were shown hand-picked artefacts from the collection.  Having been dazzled by a priceless 4th century translation of the Bible and one of the last remaining copies of the Magna Carta, we moved to one of the reading rooms connected to the Korean section of the Asian & African Collections department to view Korean, Japanese and Chinese manuscripts.

The group listened intently as Hamish Todd  the Head East Asian Collections, imparted his knowledge. The library’s holdings of Korean-language material consists of approximately 15,000 monographs and over 500 serials titles from South and North Korea, of which 300 are acquired. Highlights included 15th and 16th century texts published in the early Joseon period and even maps and acupuncture charts.

The evening was rounded off with a wonderful dinner at a nearby restaurant where members could digest their visit.

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