The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62724 Message #1017858
Posted By: Peter K (Fionn)
12-Sep-03 - 06:22 PM
Thread Name: Samuel Pepys, Music lover (and lech)
Subject: RE: Samuel Pepys, Music lover (and lech)
Rick, since Peter T's day the library has migrated out of the British Museum and now stands alone as the British Library. The building was much maligned during construction and, needless to say, over-ran every budget and deadline ever set. But it's emerged from all that as a fantastic resource and a wonderful place to be.
You don't need to be a prof. Just say you're researching something for one of your radio spots, even just for personal interest. To be absolutely sure of no hassle, you could mention a book you to be in there that is not available elsewhere (I could provide you with a few titles if you look like getting over, on condition that you do that gig at Mansfield you once threatened).
Once you've got your pass, just say what books you want, and out they come, regardless of whether they relate to what you said on the form. You can sit there reading Sherlock Holmes all day, if that's your taste (or travel a few stops up the Northern Line to the newspapers department, where you can read the same stories as they originally apppeared in Strand magazine). Or you might like to while away a year or two in the National Sound Archives.
If you ask for a book that's special/rare etc (I was reading the original of James I's diary of the gunpowder plot a week or two ago), you'll be shown to a padded room... (Just scream if the straitjacket's too tight.)
Re Pepys - what a loss for posterity that he inexplicably abandoned his diary after a mere six years or so. His take on the so-called glorious revolution would have been worth reading. I suppose you've read Clare Tomalin's book, which is a good bit more digestible than Arthur Bryant's three-vlume stamina test?