President’s Letter

Dear ATBL Supporters,  

It has been a pleasure to assume the role of President of the American Trust for the British Library’s (ATBL’s) Board of Trustees this past Fall—though I know I have big shoes to fill, with R. Dyke Benjamin and David Redden as my predecessors. Over the years, the British Library has played an essential role in my professional and scholarly work. As a graduate student, and then a young faculty member at Bucknell University, I studied medieval Latin manuscripts from Spain at the British Library.

Later, when I was funded by a Mellon grant at Yale University, I spent memorable weeks researching the inks and pigments of several extraordinary Middle English manuscripts. Each Library visit has inspired those serendipitous research discoveries only possible through the guidance of an expert curatorial and reference team, and the excitement of engaging with the British Library’s tremendous, comprehensive collection never diminishes. As the ATBL’s new President, it is my hope that our work on behalf of the British Library will help ensure that visitors and researchers alike can share such life-changing connections with the Library and its holdings, both now, and far into the future.  

ATBL support remains essential to the Library’s acquisition, conservation, and digitization strategies, and to the Library’s ability to showcase its holdings through public programming and exhibitions. As you view our website and learn about the work of the British Library as well as the impact of ATBL grants to the Library, I hope you will consider joining us as an ATBL Supporter, if you haven’t already done so. This year, we also have a new way to support the British Library: you will find details about how to help the Library remain accessible to all by sponsoring a desk or chair for one of the Library’s reading rooms, or by “adopting” your favorite book to ensure its preservation for generations to come. 

ATBL was an organization founded with a mission to support not only the incomparable British Library collections, but also to perpetuate the ethos of transatlantic understanding central to the Library’s promotion of “Living Knowledge.” As the ATBL evolves, we hope you will join us and share in our institutional vision for years to come. 


Barbara A. Shailor, PhD, FSA 


%d bloggers like this: