British Library Still Reeling After Major Cyber Incident

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The UK’s national library is still suffering what it describes as a “major technology outage” due to a “cyber incident” it experienced over the weekend.

The British Library explained on X (formerly Twitter) that the outage is impacting its “website, online systems and services, and some onsite services including public Wi-Fi.”

Phone lines and on-site services at its main building in London and a separate facility in Yorkshire are also impacted.

“Our Reading Rooms will be open for personal study but with very limited access to collection items and no access to digital collections or our digital catalogue. Reader Registration is also unavailable,” it said.

“Our Fantasy exhibition and public spaces will open as normal and our public events will be going ahead as planned, but we are only able to take cash payment on site.”

Read more on cyber incidents: NCSC Launches Cyber Incident Exercise Scheme

Only collection items ordered on or before October 26 will be available, while “very limited, manual collection item ordering” will be possible via the library’s printed catalogues for items stored at its St Pancras base.

It’s unclear what the cause of the incident is but ransomware would be a good bet, given the level of disruption at the library. There’s no word on whether employee or consumer personal information has been stolen. According to official posts by the library on X, the incident first began on October 28.

The British Library is one of the largest in the world – estimated to contain as many as 200 million items on 400 miles of shelves.

These include the Magna Carta, handwritten Beatles lyrics and the world’s largest surviving collection of works by Geoffrey Chaucer, which was only recently made available in digital format after a two-and-a-half-year project.

The library’s website was still down at the time of writing.

Image credit: GTS Productions /

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