Letter: Reading Room is for the use of scholars

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Sir: It appears from your report today that the intended metamorphosis of the British Museum Reading Room into a place where children 'can write up their notes' is motivated chiefly by anti-elitism.

The Reading Room is not a bastion of elitism. It is a large, quiet room full of books for the use of scholars. Entrance to it is free. A reader's ticket is issued to a person who wants to be there for the appropriate reason - to do research. It is the perfect place for that purpose.

The most beautiful room in England's greatest museum should remain exactly as it is. If it were made into a place for children to do their schoolwork, the people who would regret the metamorphosis most might well be the budding scholars among those children, who would be sad to think that the wonderful Reading Room no longer awaited them in later life. I ask those who have the power of decision to think again before destroying a bastion not of elitism but of


Yours faithfully,


London, NW1

26 July