Little book of treasures from the British Museum, £3.00
Bram Stoker's application for a ticket for the British Museum Library
London, May 1905
The author of Dracula applies for a new ticket
Bram Stoker (1847-1912) describes himself in this letter as a 'Barrister at Law'. He was indeed a lawyer, but he is much better known as the author of the horror novel Dracula, published in 1897, eight years before this letter was written.
In the past all readers used to have to apply in writing to the Museum if they wanted to use the Museum's Library. In his application Stoker admits that (like many other readers) he has lost his ticket - although his has been missing for longer than most.
'I have used the Rooms since 1879 or thereabouts but I have not seen my ticket for at least twenty years and cannot find it.'
He is also breaking one of the Reading Room rules by signing himself as 'Bram' Stoker. The rules stated that anyone who applied for a ticket must give his or her names in full. Stoker's real first name was Abraham. In spite of this, the Principal Librarian of the Museum replied to Stoker's letter on 24 May 1905, telling him that a new ticket would be issued to him.