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British Library: User Guide

About The British Library

For research, inspiration and enjoyment.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world. Take a look at some of the highlights below or explore the Collections menu.

Theatre and Performing Arts

Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK

Need help developing your accent for a role? The British Library offers an audio resource representing the diversity of spoken English throughout the UK. Use the interactive sound maps to find recordings of regional accents and dialects.


Explore the works of Shakespeare and Renaissance writers in relation to the social, political and cultural context in which they were written, and investigate the ways in which these works have been interpreted over the last four centuries.

English Literature

The Gothic

Discovering Literature brings to life the social, political and cultural context in which key works of literature were written. Enjoy digitised treasures from the British Library collection, newly commissioned articles, short documentary films and notes. Includes useful articles on Dracula and Frankenstein. 

Sources from History