British Library’s Royal Manuscripts exhibition draws to a close

Anyone that has stayed in any of the top hotels in London since November 11th last year has had the chance to visit one of the British Library's most exclusive exhibitions – the collection of medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts.

With just under a month left to go until the curtain comes down on this unique event, the opportunity to gain an insight into pieces dating as far back as the 8th Century is quickly coming to an end.

Representing an unrivalled chance to have a look at some of the sources from which our understanding of British history stems, the exhibition allows us to see them first hand and experience their original form.

Ranging from aiding our understanding of medieval morality, royal identity, religious belief and faith – even artistic trends over the past 1,000 years – the collection remains one of the most unique and valuable sources that is currently accessible in Britain.

The current exhibition contains works such as Le Livre et la vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre (The exploits of Alexander the Great) – known to have once been a part of Henry VIII's own collection.

Many of the books have miraculously been able to survive in their original form, and this is central to their historical value for everyone from experienced scholars to young, budding historians with an enthusiasm for the history of British royalty.

As part of the bid to cater for as much interaction with the books as possible, digital software allows visitors to scroll through the pages of a virtual book and zoom in to see some of its smallest, finest details.

The exhibition is due to end on 13 March, so anyone hoping to get a look at the collection will have to move quickly – there's no telling when it will next be set up and presented to such a wide audience.

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