The British Newspaper Library: Tough decisions to be made on hard copy

David Kynaston seeks answers to questions about the fragile future of an institution beloved by historical researchers.

A newspaper vendor in London. Photograph by KFHistorians have known for several years that the British Newspaper Library at Colindale in north London is entering the endgame. Established there in 1932 and serviced by staff who have become appreciably more helpful and friendly since I first went in the 1970s, it is now viewed by the British Library (BL) as no longer fit for purpose, above all in terms of storage and conservation. The BL, moreover, is in the process of implementing a two-site strategy: essentially, ‘front office’ for readers in St Pancras, London; and ‘back office’ for storage in Boston Spa, Yorkshire.

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