British Library unveils upcoming exhibitions for the new year

The Spring and Summer 2022 programme will feature in the main London library, as well as in Leeds and in public libraries across the UK.
The remains of the PC desktop and the Mac laptop that GCHQ came to the Guardian’s offices (Sarah Lee/British Library)

The remains of the PC desktop and the Mac laptop that GCHQ came to the Guardian’s offices (Sarah Lee/British Library)

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

The British Library has revealed its upcoming exhibitions which will explore the role news plays in our society, the use of gold in embellishing the written word and the Industrial Revolution.

The programme for Spring and Summer 2022 will feature in the main library in London, as well as being held in Leeds City Museum as part of the Library’s work with community partners and organisations in the city.

Ahead of the British Library’s Breaking the News exhibition, pop-up displays will also open at more than 30 public libraries across the UK and will showcase material from their own collections to celebrate regional news.

(British Library)

(British Library)

The main Breaking the News display, which will run April 22 to August 21, will spotlight the role news plays in our lives and explore issues of choice, interpretation, truth and trust in the news.

It will feature landmark moments from the earliest surviving printed news report in Britain on the Battle of Flodden to smashed hard drives used by The Guardian to store Edward Snowden’s hard files, as well as an original BBC radio script of the D-Day landings.

Another exhibition at the Library, titled Gold, will run from May 20 to October 22.

It will take visitors on a journey through more than 20 countries to discover how gold has been used to embellish the written word across cultures, faiths and through time.

(British Library)

(British Library)

Some of the luxurious manuscripts and sacred texts on display include the Harley Golden Gospels, the Lotus Sutra and a treaty in Malayalam which is inscribed on a long strip of gold.

In Leeds City Museum, an exhibition titled Living with Machines will shine a light on the Industrial Revolution and will be displayed from July 29 2022 to January 8 2023.

The project was developed with the city’s museum and is inspired by a research project of the same name which was through a partnership between the British Library and The Alan Turing Institute.

The exhibition will explore how advances in technology impacted the lives of ordinary people during the industrialisation period and will aim to “reveal new and untold stories”, the Library has said.

Oil painting of Monk Bridge Iron Works presented by employees to owner in 1854. Courtesy of Leeds Museums and Galleries (British Library)

Oil painting of Monk Bridge Iron Works presented by employees to owner in 1854. Courtesy of Leeds Museums and Galleries (British Library)

There will also be a six month artist residency by Leeds-based artist Jill McKnight at the Leeds Art Gallery from March 24 to October 16, which is in collaboration with the British Library.

Through a mixture of sculpture, print, sound and video, McKnight will explore the stories of people historically under-represented in the arts.

She explained: “The project particularly interested me because it focused on cultural identity which is one of my central artistic concerns, particularly the representation of working-class people in Northern England and lesser-heard voices that would otherwise be lost or overlooked.”

Micklefield Colliery mourning card commemorating ‘unfortunate’ men and boys, 1896. (Leeds Museums and Galleries)

Micklefield Colliery mourning card commemorating ‘unfortunate’ men and boys, 1896. (Leeds Museums and Galleries)

Jamie Andrews, head of culture and learning at the British Library, said: “This season is a dynamic one – showcasing our partnerships with public libraries, museums, galleries, and cutting edge research institutions all around the UK.

“Our programme presents some of the Library’s most spectacular objects, books and manuscripts from the last 500 years, as well as a brand new artist commission.

“Inspired by new technology, it offers new perspectives on some of the most pressing questions of today.

“We’re very excited about what 2022 has in store, and look forward to welcoming audiences both familiar and new.”

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