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British Library

We receive a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland The collection includes well over 150 million items, in most known languages 3 million new items are added every year We have manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings, music scores, and patents The Sound Archive keeps sound recordings from 19th-century cylinders to CD, DVD and MD recordings We house 8 million stamps and other philatelic items All this requires over 625 km of shelves, and grows by 12 km every year If you see 5 items each day, it would take you over 80,000 years to see the whole of the collection The world's earliest dated printed book, the Diamond Sutra, is sometimes on display in our exhibition galleries alongside many other treasures We have on-site space for over 1,200 Readers Over 16,000 people use the collections each day (on site and online) Online catalogues, information and exhibitions can be found on this website We operate the world's largest document delivery service providing millions of items a year to customers all over the world

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