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    The Book of the British Library

    Owing its origin to the generosity and far - sightedness of a handful of 18th-century scholars and booklovers, and built up over 250 years, the Library's very extensive collections - of books, manuscripts, maps, music, newspapers, photographs, sound recordings, stamps, and digital media - offer keys to the understanding of human achievement in literature, art, music, politics, journalism, exploration and much else, from ancient times to the present day. In this highly illustrated book, Michael Leapman tells the library's story highlighting the most significant and beautiful items that can be found in its care, as well as exploring some of the lesser known, more surprising artefacts housed in its iconic building.