The new reading room (aka “Newsroom”) opened yesterday in London. Background materials below. The reading room also offers public access to the UK Internet Archive (not accessible on the web).
The opening of the Newsroom marks the culmination of a £33 million programme [$55.56 million] that has also involved moving the Library’s vast collection of print newspapers to a purpose-built, robotic storage facility in Yorkshire.
Coverage and Materials
The Newsroom, offering more than 750m pages of newspapers and magazines and 4.8m archived websites, will be officially opened by the culture secretary, Sajid Javid.
A hi-tech reading room, the first at the British Library in St Pancras for more than 10 years, offers researchers free access to microfilm and digital newspaper collections dating back to the English civil war. Together with a purpose-built robotic storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, it replaces the Colindale newspaper library in north London, which closed last November.
The Newsroom – the first Reading Room to open at the British Library in nearly a decade – offers researchers free access to microfilm and digital newspaper collections and includes:
- More than 100 desks in a spacious and newly refurbished Reading Room at the heart of the British Library at St Pancras;
- 40 digital microfilm viewers, offering excellent image quality and magnification, and swift, intuitive navigation – opening up microfilm to a new generation of researchers;
- Microfilm of the 15 most highly-used newspaper titles available instantly on open-access shelves in the Newsroom, the rest of the microfilmed archive – some 630,000 reels – available to order within 70 minutes;
- Free access to digitised resources such as the British Newspaper Archive, which has 7.8 million scanned pages of historic newspapers, fully searchable by date, title and keyword;
- A public networking area for meeting, discussion and collaborative research, including a large video wall displaying live news feeds and news-related Library content;
- Access to the UK Web Archive, including 4.8 million archived UK domain websites, totalling more than a billion individual URLs;
The British Library’s extensive collection of TV and radio broadcast news – including over 40,000 programmes, and growing at a rate of 60 hours every day across 22 news channels.
Learn About the British Library’s New Newspaper Storage Facility