The British Library marked the bicentenary of the birth of the Báb with various initiatives alongside the launch of a new website, Discovering Sacred Texts. With the launch of this website there were companion exhibitions which featured examples of the Faith’s original texts.
The library displayed three rare and exquisite pieces in its Treasures Gallery: an original of the Báb’s own handwriting, in the shape of a five-pointed star; calligraphic exercises written by Bahá’u’lláh in His childhood; and an example of “Revelation Writing”, the form in which Bahá’u’lláh’s words were recorded at speed by His secretaries as they were revealed. These manuscripts were on display at the library for six months.
Coinciding with the launch of the site and the exhibition was the publication of an article by Moojan Momen, specially commissioned by the library for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb. Dr. Momen wrote about the three original works on display at the exhibition, set in the context of a brief historical account of the life of the Bab.
To further mark the bicentenary, the library invited actor and comedian Omid Djalili to stage his one-man show A Strange Bit of History written by Annabel Knight. The play recounts events surrounding the appearance of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. This performance ran for four days. It was first performed at the 1993 Edinburgh Festival, where it won the Spirit of the Fringe Award. Over the next four years it was performed 109 times in 10 different countries.