Letter: Moving the King's Library

PETER HOARE (letter, 1 April) is right that the King's Library is as magnificently housed in its new setting in St Pancras as it was in the British Museum. There are, however, points in Brian Lang's letter (23 March) which call for comment.

The suggestion that the books would have disintegrated "in time" if they had remained where they were is unconvincing for those of us who have handled books and manuscripts up to 500 years old which still appear to be in pristine condition despite the absence of air conditioning, either because they have been very little used or because of the excellence of the materials used in making them, or more likely, both. Whatever the storage conditions, the paper most likely to disintegrate is the cheaper kind manufactured from wood pulp in the middle of the 20th century. None of the King's Library books falls into that category.


London SW3