British Library

11 Stories

Shakespeare Begs for Refugees' Mercy in Own Hand

Handwritten script by the Bard about to go online, thanks to British Library

(Newser) - A script reworked by none other than William Shakespeare and believed to be the only surviving handwritten play script penned by the Bard will soon be online via the British Library, and it speaks to a quite contemporary crisis, the Guardian reports. A scene by Shakespeare added to The Book ... More »

Medieval Mystery Sword Inscription Baffles Experts

The 13th century River Witham sword bears a long message

(Newser) - World, can you help us decipher a medieval sword inscription? That sums up the British Library's announcement about a blade discovered in an English river in 1825, LiveScience reports. The so-called River Witham sword—a 13th-century object now on display at the library—bears a message along its 38-inch... More »

4 Magna Cartas Never in Same Place—Until Now

Priceless surviving documents 'unified' at British Library for first time

(Newser) - You can't exactly call it a reunion—the four surviving original Magna Cartas had never before been in the same place. So instead, the British Library called it a "unification event" today when the priceless documents were put on display together for the first time. The event marks... More »

'Bad Handwriting' May Settle Shakespeare Mystery

Professor says it proves 'Spanish Tragedy' lines are by the Bard

(Newser) - It's been a nearly 200-year-long debate: Did William Shakespeare add 325 lines to Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy nearly a decade after Kyd's death? None other than Samuel Taylor Coleridge raised the question in 1833, and a 2012 computer analysis seemed to lend credence to the theory.... More »

New Conan Doyle Tale to Be Published: His Own

Diary from year spent at sea shows young writer at work

(Newser) - A 20-year-old runs away from his medical studies in Victorian Britain to spend a perilous year as a ship's doctor on an Arctic whaler. It may sound like a ripping yarn, but a previously unpublished book by Arthur Conan Doyle actually tells his own story. The British Library is... More »

Google to Digitize 40M Pages of the British Library

That's 250K books over the next three years

(Newser) - A treatise on a stuffed hippopotamus, an 18th-century English primer for Danish sailors, and a description of the first engine-driven submarine are among 250,000 books to be made available online in a deal between Google and the British Library. The agreement, announced today, will let Internet users read, search,... More »

Oldest Bible Scanned for Web

(Newser) - The fragile Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest surviving Christian Bible, has been hidden in scholarly collections for decades, but today the British Library has launched a new site to let online surfers peruse the 1600-year-old document. The ancient text was discovered in the 19th century, and researchers suspect it survived due... More »

Millionaire's Thievery Ruins Priceless Books

Iranian millionaire sliced pages from valuable volumes

(Newser) - An Iranian scholar and millionaire sliced pages from extremely rare volumes at the British Library, some dating back to the 16th century, to replace missing sections in his own book collection, reports the Independent. Farhad Hakimzadeh, who pleaded guilty to theft and faces prison time, removed pages from a reported... More »

Porn Claim Riles Kafka Scholars

Experts have uneasy dreams about author's proclivities

(Newser) - Literary circles are in an uproar over a new biography of Franz Kafka that says the existentialist author had a penchant for porn, the Guardian reports. Kafka expert James Hawes, who says he unearthed some of the not-exactly-mainstream magazines the author enjoyed, makes the claim in a new book and... More »

World's Oldest Bible Makes Web Debut Thursday

German university, British Library compile 390 pages of 4th-century parchment

(Newser) - The world's oldest nearly intact Bible—a fourth-century manuscript written in ancient Greek—will be published online later this week, Deutsche Welle reports. The Codex Sinaiticus, rediscovered in a Sinai Peninsula monastery in 1844, contains half the Jewish Old Testamant and most of the Christian New Testament. The University of... More »

British Library Acquires Harold Pinter Archive

$2.2M keeps Nobel laureate's papers in the country

(Newser) - The British Library has bought the papers of Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize-winning playwright, paying more than $2.2 million for 150 boxes of material, writes the Times of London. After the purchase of several British authors' archives by American universities, Pinter committed himself to finding a home in his... More »

11 Stories