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1.

Robert Winston

In this film the leading scientist, medical doctor and broadcaster Professor Robert Winston explores six incredible Treasures of the British Library. He is helped and guided by the Library’s expert curators, discovering amazing facts and quirky details about each book, manuscript or object. Above all he and we enjoy the privilege of spending time with a truly unique and historic document or object. Each item taps into a different aspect of Robert’s life, career and interests. They cover subjects as diverse as skiing and theater directing, ranging from a much-loved colleague’s pioneering lab notes to a rough notebook handwritten by Beethoven. Through the six Treasures Robert gains a glimpse of the sheer scale and breadth of the British Library collection, before ending the film with h [...]
Online
2018; 2016
2.

Alison Balsom

The British Library collection over one hundred and fifty million items—everything from medieval chronicles to live jazz recordings, the Bronte’s manuscripts to Beethoven’s tuning fork. Now six of its greatest Treasures will be explored by the acclaimed trumpet soloist Alison Balsom. Alison has chosen six aspects of her life and work to explore—everything from the music that drives her life and career to the complete escape of a favorite sport or beloved author. Now, working and guided by the British Library’s expert curators, she will discover wondrous items that tap into each theme and passion. The Treasures Alison encounters are surprising and engaging—charts made for Tudor royalty, to help them protect the country from invasion, the actual ink of Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Hard [...]
Online
2018; 2016
3.

Benjamin Zephaniah

The British Library’s vaults hold a staggering record of the UK, and the world’s culture, history and society. The collections range from maps to stamps, scientific discoveries to illuminated Bibles, Anne Boleyn’s handwriting and Oscar Wilde’s tales. Now radical poet Benjamin Zephaniah will delve into this truly unique store house, finding six individual treasures that speak to him. Benjamin is a passionate believer that libraries are the true universities of the streets—now he has the chance explore the greatest library on Earth. Each item Benjamin discovers taps into one of his greatest interests and passions. A private obsession with banknote collecting leads to one of the very first ever printed; and passion for rebels leads him to an oak tree in Norfolk and the handwritten deman [...]
Online
2018; 2016
4.

Meera Syal

The British Library—a unique cultural treasure trove that holds everything from great novelist’s first drafts to a world-class collection of sound recordings, the world’s oldest Bibles to Kenneth William’s diaries. Now actor, writer and novelist Meera Syal is exploring this staggering collection, searching for six truly inspiring and moving Treasures. Guided by key personal themes she wants to explore, Meera discovers everything from Jane Austen’s personal letters to Sir John Gielgud’s scrapbooks. Working with the expert British Library curators she uncovers a tragic story amongst the official records of the British India Office and discovers the history of her favorite sport. As she finds each treasured item, Meera learns more about the dedication and skills that keeps the British L [...]
Online
2018; 2016
5.

The Tale of Robin Hood

The Tale of Robin Hood visits the areas where the outlaw is reputed to have roamed and examines the claims of the various candidates to be the real Robin Hood. With a wealth of location footage, it takes a fascinating look at law enforcement in the Middle Ages, including a visit to the prison cell where Robin Hood was reputedly imprisoned.
Online
2017; 2010
6.

Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxons

Using 3-D animation, location footage, archive materials, and interviews, the Beowulf epic is examined in the light of the civilization that created it. It investigates the Anglo-Saxons' religious beliefs as well as their everyday life and suggests that, old as the poem is, it may have roots in an even more ancient fertility cult.
Online
2017; 2007
7.

Julia Donaldson

The British Library is the greatest storehouse of our history and culture. On its shelves are British works ranging from the thousand year old Beowulf to handwritten drafts of James Bond. Now Julia Donaldson has been given the chance of a lifetime, to explore six great Treasures of the British Library. Julia is the one of the UK’s best loved and bestselling authors, creator of The Gruffalo, Zog, Snail and the Whale and many other spellbinding characters. Now she can explore aspects of her life and career in the world’s greatest library. Julia selects the themes she wants to delve into, each linked to a passion, an inspiration or a treasured personal memory. The expert Library curators then bring the specific Treasures from the deep basements—wonders ranging from a gold-decorated book [...]
Online
2018; 2016