The British Library (BL) is the UK's national library. As one of the world's largest research libraries it holds over 150 million items. The Library's collections include around 25 million books, along with additional collections of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 300 BC.
As a legal deposit library, the BL receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, including all foreign books distributed in the UK. It also purchases many items which are published outside Britain and Ireland. The British Library adds some three million items every year.