It’s really pretty. The BL is also pretty, but not in the way that brings you peace and happiness. This is the approach:


You walk through this nice landscaping—the pond and grass over to the left of the picture is even nicer. When I was going there every day for months, the swans that lived on the pond had cygnets, which grew up, letting me see the life cycle in action even as I spent my days with old pieces of paper. It really made going there much easier.

This is just a cool shot, because I finally figured out how to do pictures on the blog:


But this summer, several things reminded me how nice the PRO is to work at:

So one day, I forgot to reserve my books, and they checked to see if they were still available, rather than making me wait while they were ordered and processed again.

The same day—so I’ve already been a hassle, here—I wanted to see books that were in use. They were checked out to a staff member. So someone else “nipped downstairs right away” to see if she could get them. And did!

They aren’t that pushy about making you leave (unlike, say, the BL-Colindale, where they ripped my books out of my hands at 4:47pm). At the PRO, you can hear the announcement “The National Archives is now closed. Please make your way to the exit” but even then, no one really cares if you loiter in the hallway waiting for your friends to come out the locker room.

And the best reason to love the PRO—for books that have already been microfilmed, you can get the entire thing as jpgs for only £25 per reel! And the target date was only five working days! Even adding in postage and the cost of the DVD, it’s still cheaper than a day in London. And now I will have my very own source set! Can’t wait ’til it comes in the mail!

Gotta love the PRO.