Although it’s of little importance to the economy or the health of the nation, research has been on hold for a year because of lockdown. One of the last things I did before the first lockdown was to visit the National Art Library. That’s closed until further notice, but yesterday I went to the British Library.

It felt pretty desolate. It’s open to readers, who sit a long way away from each other in masks, but there are no students in the public areas with their Mac Airs, no cafés, and almost no visitors other than researchers.

The one-way system is complicated by the building works under way. There’s a notice saying, ‘Please be patient. This is strange for us too.’

2 thoughts on “THE BRITISH LIBRARY

  1. Hello Marshall Colman,

    I was a little confused about the drawings for a proposed extension to the V&A. I did not like the shape and I did not think it fitted in at all with its surroundings. Also, people very much like the V&A and a great deal of money has been spent spoiling the 2nd courtyard to put in a Café which needs to be used. Is there nowhere in the current V&A to expand the Art Library? What is the news on that front?

    It will be wonderful when London/everywhere returns to normal!

    Hope that you are keeping well and happy.

    Best Wishes

    Rachel Grimmer


  2. They are planning a new building at Stratford, east London, which will house the archives at Blythe House. I’m afraid I don’t know any more than that. As far as I know there are no plans to move the National Art Library from South Kensington.


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