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The British Museum Reading Room Also known as The British Museum Library and Round Reading Room

 

Images

  • British Library Reading Room

Other Information

  • The diameter of the dome is 43 metres, 9 metres more than St Paul's Cathedral.
  • The metal framed roof has a type of papier mache as the ceiling and during restoration had 1 mile of flexiweave added to it.
  • The gold detailing is 25,000 metres of 23.25 carat gold leaf, enough to make 12,000 books from.
  • Until 1997 the Reading Room was the heart of the British Library which has since moved to St Pancras.
  • Entry up until 1997 was given to series researchers only with it closed off to the general public. Now it is open to all.
  • Famous users of the room have included Karl Marx who wrote some of Das Kapital there, Vladimir Lenin, Mahatma Ghandi, HG Wells, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw and Rudyard Kipling.

Companies

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Architect
Sydney Smirke
Developer
The British Museum
Renovation Architect
Foster + Partners

Reference Data

Reference No.
5418
First Uploaded
14-12-2007
Last Editorial Date
30-10-2010
 

Building Location

Address
Great Russell Street, London. WC1B 3DG
Council
Westminster
County
London
Region
London
Country
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

Status
Complete
Proposal date
1852
Construction start date
1854
Completion date
1857
Renovation Date
2000
Style
Neo Classical

Pinnacle Height (AGL)
40.00
Pinnacle Type
Spire
Roof Height (AGL)
33.00

Total Floors (O.G)
1

Market Data

Primary Use
Museum

Floorspace (sq m)
1,350.00

Metres > Feet