British Library Opens Out of this World Exhibition

The British Library presents Science Fiction but not as you know it, an exhibit on view Fri 20 May 2011 – Sun 25 Sep 2011.

This is the British Library’s first exhibition to explore science fiction through literature, film, illustration and sound. It will challenge visitors’ perceptions of the genre by uncovering gems of the Library’s collections from the earliest science fiction manuscripts to the latest best-selling novels.

This unique exhibition, guest-curated by Andy Sawyer, Science Fiction Collections Librarian, University of Liverpool, will examine how science fiction is distinct from other related genres such as fantasy and horror. Tracing the development of the genre from True History by Lucian of Samosata written in the 2nd century AD to the recent writings of Cory Doctorow and China Miéville, the exhibition will trace how science fiction has turned from a niche into a global phenomenon.

Visitors to the exhibition will discover an interactive space based on ‘other worlds’ presented by science fiction. These will include: Alien Worlds; Future Worlds; Parallel Worlds; Virtual Worlds; the End of the World and the Perfect World. Each area will draw on a variety of exhibits, multi-media interactives, film and sound to experience new surroundings and ask questions such as: ‘who are we?’, ‘why are we here?’, ‘what is reality?’ and ‘what does the future hold?’

Out of this World: Science Fiction but not as you know it is open from 20 May 2011 – 25 September 2011 in the PACCAR Gallery at the British Library. Admission to the exhibition is FREE.

Exhibition opening hours

Monday 09.30 – 18.00, Tuesday 09.30 – 20.00, Wednesday – Friday 09.30 – 18.00, Saturday 09.30 – 17.00, Sunday and English public holidays 11.00 – 17.00. All galleries are accessible by wheelchair. Information can be requested from Visitor Services staff on: T +44 (0)20 7412 7332. Supported by the Patrons of the British Library.

Image: The British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website – – every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

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  1. Geri J. says:

    Does the “Out of This World” exhibit have a printed catalogue? If so, how may I obtain one?

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