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Wednesday, 30th April 2014

British Library Opens New Reading Room

By Africa S. Hands

From the British Library:

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

Full story >>


Africa S. Hands is an independent librarian with a focus on helping professionals understand and utilise social media and search engines through one-on-one tutorials and small group workshops. Africa tweets (@africahands) on resources of interest to information and higher education professionals.

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