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article imageNovember and December at the British Library

By Alexander Baron     Nov 4, 2011 in World
London - There are various things going on at the world's leading research archive between now and the end of the year, including the launch of a new database of early music.
First, if you're visiting the British Library on Thursday, so is the Queen, so chuck out time is 4pm instead of the usual 20.00hrs. Her Majesty is opening the Royal Manuscripts Exhibition. Images from this collection are now available for download to your smartphone and ipad.
For readers, there are delays to books held off-site at Boston Spa because of the discovery of asbestos in some of the holding areas. Some low use items will not be available until next year. There is also some maintenance at St Pancras which will affect Map Room users.
The Library is continuing to offer free training sessions for readers to familiarise themselves with the new combined catalogue and web search facilities. The current set up with the Integrated Catalogue and smaller catalogues has worked perfectly well up until now, so this may be a case of fixing something that is not broken, but until the new system has been running for a while and readers have had a chance to give their feedback, we won't know for certain.
All the catalogues are available to web users as well as readers, so feel free to browse. There is also an on-line document ordering service, for those with deep pockets.
There is a new Early Music Online project which has its own, dedicated website. This is just the latest of some of the exciting on-line archives that are now available throughout the world, from government, institutional and private sources.
For readers and non-readers alike, there are several events of interest over the following weeks. The aforementioned Royal Manuscripts Exhibition is augmented by a two day conference, December 12-3.
Before that, on November 18, is a seminar for crime fiction buffs Crime Across the Continent, at £20. And before that there is an evening lecture about Barbara Wootton, The Wootton Effect, on November 16. Tickets for this are £7.50.
Full details of the above can currently be found on or linked from the Library's What's On page.
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