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Will the British Library ever run out of shelf space?

Posted at 5:15 pm, October 25, 2014 in Fun London

© Matt Blease

‘The library holds well over 150 million items, some of which date back to the eighteenth century. A third of them are stored in the basements of the library in St Pancras, where we have a combined floor space of more than 40,000 square metres, descending eight storeys below ground. The rest are kept in a series of higher-density storage buildings in Yorkshire, on a further 325km of shelves. Put together, our shelving space would stretch more than three times around the M25. ‘Despite the fact the library receives an average of 14,496 new items each week, we do not foresee it running out of space. We have a 42-acre site in Yorkshire where we continue to build state- of – the- art storage buildings as our collection grows.’

Jude England, head of research at the British Library

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