I went to check out the British Library today to see a free exhibition on the history of photography. Apparently the British Library is comparable to the US Library of Congress. The strange thing is that as a library you cant check out a single thing to take home. They have special 'reading rooms' where you have to apply to get a pass to look at the books. Its usually for research purposes only. I can understand this to some extent but I'd like at least a bit of access to some of the cooler bits of the library. Handels original copy of the Messiah is there, the early manuscript of Alice in Wonderland (Alices Adventures Underground), thee Magna Carta and some things from Leonardo Da Vinci. Its a treasure trove of uber cool stuff that I didn't get to see. I did enjoy the exhibition and wandering round the library grounds. Not as cool as seeing the other stuff, but it will have to do for now.
Here's a favorite of mine from the exhibition:
Picture by William Henry Fox Talbot, 1842 via HERE
Some pictures from the library:
the view of St Pancras International Train Station from the British Library
one of the gates
the inner wall of books