The British Library has announced major exhibitions on James Cook’s voyages, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms and Empire Windrush for 2018. 

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The British Library’s 2018 exhibition programme will begin with James Cook: The Voyages , marking the 250th anniversary since Captain James Cook set sail on three voyages that changed the world.

On display from the 27th April, the exhibition will tell the story of each of the three voyages through original documents such as Cook’s journal detailing the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle and  handwritten log books as well as  artwork and intricate maps, to give new light on the experiences of those on board the ship and the places they visited.

Meanwhile, from the 1st May, the library will present the Karl and Eleanor Marx Treasures Gallery display. Marking the commemorations of the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, this display will concentrate on the role in which the British Museum Reading Room played in the life and work of Marx and his daughter Eleanor.

The British Library will then present Windrush, an exhibition which celebrates the 70th anniversary since the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex carrying hundreds of Caribbean migrants to Britain. On display from the 1st June, the exhibition will through literature, personal correspondence and official reports explore the significance of the arrival of the Windrush within a broader narrative of Caribbean history.

This will then be followed by the Michael Palin Treasures Gallery display, focusing on the development of  Michael Palin’s literary and creative career. Having acquired Michael Palin’s archive earlier this year, the display will trace his career from The Frost Report and Monty Python’s Flying Circus to his successes across fiction, stage and screen. (On display from the 7th August).

The final exhibition to be announced in 2018 is Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. On display from the 19th October, this landmark exhibition will examine the history, art, literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England, across six centuries from the eclipse of Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest.

Highlights of the exhibition will include bringing together the four principal manuscripts of Old English poetry for the first time, the British Library’s unique manuscript of Beowulf will be displayed alongside the Vercelli Book on loan from the Biblioteca Capitolare in Vercelli, the Exeter Book on loan from Exeter Cathedral Library, and the Junius Manuscript on loan from the Bodleian Library.

For more information about the upcoming exhibition programme visit: https://www.bl.uk/

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