Saving MiniDisc

Something a little different.

I had the privilege of visiting the British Library Sound Archives a little while ago and filmed this “VR” piece about an old (and loved) audio format – Sony MiniDisc. In this piece Gosha Shtasel talks about the format and what The British Library is doing to preserve these recordings.

Filmed in “VR180” – watch in a VR headset for full immersion.

British Museum: Places to Eat

Visiting the BM and feeling peckish? The following video offers some suggestions for places to eat and drink, both inside and outside the Museum.

180º 3D video.

Places beyond the Museum’s walls include (among others)…

I am Ashurbanipal…

The British Museum exhibition, I am Ashubanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria (8 Nov. 2018 – 24 Feb. 2019) focuses on the BM’s extensive Assyrian collections and on the 7th Century BC warrior/scholar king, Ashurbanipal.

Here’s a short video piece looking at just a few small parts of the exhibition. Watch it in 180º stereoscopic 3D if you have a VR headset, Google Cardboard or the like (though not necessary).

The accompanying exhibition book is also highly recommended.

180º 3D video.

On desktop, use your W,A,S,D keys to look around. On mobile – simply move your device around.

British Museum Highlights

For a more immersive experience many MuseumWise short films are produced as 360º or 180º 3D video. Here’s an example showing a small handful of some of my personal highlights from The British Museum. If you have a VR headset (or something like Google Cardboard) then watch it in 3D for the full effect and see how big those Lamassu really are!

180º 3D video.

If you’re watching on desktop, use your W,A,S,D keys to look around. On mobile – simply move your device around.

N.B. I mention 10% of the museum’s collections are on display. It is in fact just 1% (some 80,000 out of eight million objects).

2 for 1 Tickets
Days Out Guide
A scheme run in association with National Rail.

Visiting London by train? Then you may be able to get “2 for 1″ entry at over 150 attractions in London, including various museums such as: Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Churchill War Rooms, London Transport Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe

The Deal: You need to have a valid train ticket to qualify and print off a relevant voucher on the Days Out Guide web site first. “Valid” tickets mean your train tickets are current, i.e. one day tickets only qualify for that day, return train tickets are valid on and between the dates of return travel (Fri., Sat., Sun. for example).

Also some venues can have excluded dates (e.g. Tower of London), check their entries on the Days Out Guide web site first.

For more details on exactly what kind of tickets qualify, see:

Helen and I have used this scheme before and saved a tidy sum. It can really pay to plan ahead (even a little bit)…

British Library Tips & Advice

Tips and advice may be updated at any time. Use at your own discretion, no responsibility taken etc. etc.

An obvious one: the library is quietest first and last thing. At the start of the day there’s always a small queue but front door security are efficient and it moves along fairly quickly.

Free Wi-Fi!

Food & Drink
There are a number of places to eat in the Library, but like many such institutions it can be comparatively expensive (even for London). For lunch there are several places in nearby St. Pancras which may (or may not!) be more budget friendly. There’s always Marks & Spencers Simply Food for cold comestibles and sandwiches etc.

Get a free hot drink with your hot meal at The King’s Library Café by printing off a voucher (see “Food & Drink” link above).

Members of the British Library get 20% discount in the BL cafés, restaurants and shop.

The British Library has a free-to-use cloakroom as well as digital-lock lockers (each must be cleared each day). The cloakroom is closed on Sundays. How to remember which locker you used? Take a photo of it with your phone.

British Library Digital Locker 404.
Take a photo to remember which of the (many) lockers is yours for the day.

Luggage is restricted to “airline carry on” size, specifically 56 (h) x 45 (w) x 25 (d) cm, aka: 22 (h) x 17.7 (w) x 9.8 (d) inches. There is a sizing cage at the front entrance to check if needed (though probably too late by then)!

People have been known to leave luggage at the BL and then head into the city, picking it up later on the way back to King’s Cross station – but that would be naughty (and occupy spaces needed by genuine BL readers) – the reason for the new (2011) size restrictions in the first place.

BL Members’ Tip
Heading to the Members’ Room? Don’t fancy the stairs? Take the lift. Walk along the upper ground floor towards the back and into the Coffee Shop area. See that unassuming lift door? Take it up to Floor 2 and it will deposit you right inside the Members’ Room just a couple of steps away from the bar…

Oh, and as a BL Member you can get a three (rather than one) year Reader Pass and unlimited access (for you and a friend) to all exhibitions!

More Tips?
Please share in the comments below…

Tower of London Opening Times
Tickets – Adult: £22.70, Concession: £17.70

Opening Times  Summer (1st Mar. – 31st Oct.)
Monday: 10am – 5.30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 5.30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 9am – 5.30pm
Friday: 9am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 10am – 5.30pm

Opening Times  Winter (1st Nov. – 28th Feb.)
Monday: 10am – 4.30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 4.30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 4.30pm
Thursday: 9am – 4.30pm
Friday: 9am – 4.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 4.30pm
Sunday: 10am – 4.30pm

24th-26th December, 1st January

Further details:

+44 (0)20 3166 6000

Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

Nearby Tube Stations

Sir John Soane’s – Model Room & Sepulchral Chamber

Want to take a closer look at the Model Room and Sepulchral Chamber in the Sir John Soane’s Museum? You can now do that with: Explore Soane.

Sir John Soane's Museum – Copmputer Model.
Sir John Soane’s Museum – Computer Model.

You can also download various 3D computer re-creations, including a model of Pompeii and a Temple of Vesta made out of cork…