The British Library


Images Online turns the spotlight on our collections. Click on an image to see more.
 The Golden Haggadah

Treasures of The British Library

The British Library's greatest treasures - the books, maps and manuscripts of greatest historical or literary importance. This selection of images includes such works as the Magna Carta, the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare's First Folio, the Diamond Sutra - the worlds earliest dated printed book, and the hand-written musical score of Handel's Messiah.

  Clouds West Sands, St Andrews, East Neuk of Fife

Fay Godwin - Landscapes and Portraits

Fay Godwin (17 Feb 1931 – 27 May 2005) was a noted British photographer, widely known for her black-and-white landscapes of the British countryside and coast. Fay also produced stunning portraits of well known writers, photographing almost every significant literary figure in '70s and '80s England. Acquired in 2008, Fay Godwin's archive is an exciting addition to the British Library

  Puss In Boots

The Evanion Collection

During the course of a long career, Henry Evans (1832?-1905), a conjuror and ventriloquist who performed under the stage name ‘Evanion', took every opportunity to amass a large collection of material relating to Victorian entertainment and everyday life. Harry Houdini described the collection as "full of priceless treasures".

  The Klencke Atlas

Magnificent Maps

The British Library holds one of the best map collections in the world to which Images Online has unrivalled access. Ranging from medieval diagrammatic T-O maps to atlases, town plans and population maps these are fascinating images of the world.

  St. Pancras Piazza

The British Library - St. Pancras

The British Library building at St. Pancras is the largest public building to be constructed in the UK in the 20th century. 10 million bricks and 180,000 tonnes of concrete were needed to complete the building with. A total floor area of over 112,000 sq metres spread over 14 floors - 9 above ground, 5 below. The basements extend to a depth of 24.5 metres.

  Tropic bird


The Images Online collection includes thousands of nature images - both illustrations and photographs of animals, plants and fruits from all over the world.

  Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson

Transport and Travel

Take a look at our selection of images that represent just a fraction of the many historical photographs, illustrations, and manuscripts depicting transport and travel through the ages that we hold in our collection.

  Penny Black printing press

Science and Technology

From astronomical maps to the Spinning Jenny, science and technology has touched every aspect of life through the ages. International in scope, reflecting the global nature of science and technology, we hold a myriad of images including sketches by Leonaro da Vinci, anatomical illustrations and designs for microscopes and diving suits!

  Binding by Stanley Bray

Beautiful Bindings

Bejewelled, embroidered, ivory, leather, and striking in design. Here is a selection of some of our most attractive book covers and bindings.

  Robinson Crusoe

Story Time

Fantastic illustrations from classic children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Aesop's Fables, Cinderella, and The Just So Stories, as well as the more sinister images from Der Stuwwelpeter and Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

  Bahram Gur slays a dragon

Monsters and Myths

From the dragon, to the unicorn, mermaid, sea monster, giant, ghost and griffin - monsters are a great outlet for the human imagination, and have been for hundreds of years. As well as being used to entertain, monsters are often used as social criticism.


The Human Body

Man has used images and illustrations in the attempt to understand the human body throughout history, from palmistry to anatomy. Varying in complexity and detail we have a great selection of anatomical and medical images available.

  Bird design on a yellow background

Olga Hirsch Collection

These beautiful graphic patterns are taken from the Olga Hirsch Collection of Decorated Papers, which comprises of images produced from the 16th-century onwards. They represent a variety of decorative techniques including brush-coated, sprinkled, sprayed flock, marbled, block-printed, embossed and metallic-varnish.


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