Writing: Making Your Mark – British Library

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Exhibitions / Events Category: Exhibitions

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  • Discover the extraordinary story behind one of humankind’s greatest achievements: through more than 100 objects spanning 5,000 years and seven continents

    Follow the remarkable evolution of writing from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales, to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds, and onwards to the digital communication tools we use today.

    Marvel at centuries of human innovation as writing enabled progress and opened doors to expression and art. Items as diverse as James Joyce’s annotated copy of Ulysses and a 60,000-strong petition against Bengali partition, sit alongside Burmese tattooing instruments and a new take on typography by the Russian artist El Lissitzky to illustrate how writing allows us to enact change and make a lasting creative mark of our own.

    Our interactive exhibition gives you the chance to reflect on works of genius that wouldn’t exist without the writing traditions of civilisations past. Be dazzled by gold-laden Japanese calligraphy. Study Mozart’s musical flourishes. Pore over Alexander Fleming’s pioneering notebook. Each of these written records carries the history of writing in their every stroke.

    Finally, reflect on writing’s future and the role you’ll play in an increasingly digital world. Will we abandon pens and keyboards for voice and video messaging, or continue to carry the traditions of ancient times with us? Consider what sort of writer you are and leave us with some final words of your own.

    Extended hours on Tuesday until 8.00.  Closes early on Saturday at 5.00 and Sunday hours are 11.00-5.00.

    Tickets are £14.00 with concessions

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