Free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions: 2018

Secondary ESOL

We offer a range of free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions to help you make the most of your time researching here.

Published date:

Unless otherwise stated, our Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions are aimed at Registered Readers and usually held within our Reading Rooms, which are only accessible with a valid Reader Pass. If you wish to attend you should register with us for a Reader Pass.

Note also that 1-2-1 sessions are offered subject to staff availability.

Discovery sessions

We offer a range of engaging and informative Discovery sessions so you’re sure to find something that matches your interest. They typically last one hour each and we can accommodate up to 12 people per session.

Introduction to the Library's catalogue, Explore the British Library, and the Humanities Reading Rooms

14 November (16.00-17.00)

This session provides a general introduction to the Library’s main catalogue - Explore the British Library. It also explains how you can get the most from the Library's collection of printed and e-books, journals, articles, theses, newspapers, archives, research databases and many other resources. We will explain the catalogue's additional search options: ‘Our Website’ and ’Explore Further’. We will answer all your 'how to' questions, covering: log in, change password, request items, reserve items, copy, scan and printing collection material, saving searches, refining search results, managing your account, 'My Workspace', 'My Reading Room Requests', 'Basket' and other queries.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Enquiries Desk.

Introduction to family history sources in Asian & African Studies

14 November (12.00-13.30); 4 December (12.00-13.30); 15 January (12.00-13.30); 6 February (12.00-13.30)

If you are trying to trace details of the births/baptisms, marriages and/or burials of Europeans who were born, married or died in South Asia (= including Burma, but excluding Sri Lanka) before independence in 1947/48, then this session should be of interest. Previous knowledge of the topic is neither expected nor required. The session includes a brief overview of the historical background together with practical advice in how to access the genealogical data held in the collection. Participants do not have to be registered Readers.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Desk.

Beyond baptisms, marriages and burials: additional family history sources in Asian & African Studies

14 November (14.30-16.00); 4 December (14.30-16.30); 15 January (14.30-16.30); 6 February (14.30-16.30)

This session provides information about the wealth of printed, online and visual material available to family history researchers in forms such as wills, photographs, biographical compilations, newspapers and directories. It is useful, but not necessary, to have attended the introductory session. Military ancestry is not covered, being the subject of a separate session.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Desk. 

Humanities printed and electronic resources on Gender and Women’s Studies

22 November (16.00-17.00)

This session is designed as an interdisciplinary session on Gender and Women’s Studies across disciplines in all areas of life. It covers: the role of women and gender in history, literature, religion, society, science and culture on a global historical, geographical and religious scale. Also: equality, human rights, dignity and respect, religious diversity and women, sacred texts and feminism, minority groups, race, class, power, femininity and masculinity, ethnicity, migration.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Enquiries Desk.

News-related Electronic Resources

27 November (14.00-15.00); 23 January (14.00-15.00); 14 March (14.00-15.00); 9 May (14.00-15.00)

This session will cover the range of news related electronic resources available at the Library and how to access this material.

The session will: 

  • promote awareness of newspaper electronic resources and the importance of newspaper e-resources for contemporary research
  • highlight the various ways to access British Library news eresources
  • demonstrate key news eresources
  • showcase the variety of news databases including facsimile and text only e-resources, and various news related bibliographies and indexes available at the Library.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

Humanities printed and electronic resources on Religious Studies

27 November (16.00-17.00)

Are you researching Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion, beliefs or traditions of the world and new faiths? Are you interested in their origins, theological questions, sacred texts and their interpretation, taking into account different disciplines, such as history, sociology, philosophy, psychology? Then book your place for this interdisciplinary Discovery Session.

We’ll introduce you to the Library's enormous collection of printed and online resources, e-databases, e-journals e-books, e-theses, images, sound archive material.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Enquiries Desk.

Sound & Vision: finding and accessing recordings

5 December (14.00-15.00); 23 January (14.00-15.00)

Are you interested in non-print media? The Library has over 6 million sound and moving image recordings including all genres of music, wildlife, drama, literature, oral history and archived radio broadcasts. The recordings date from the late nineteenth century to the present day and can be accessed in our Reading Rooms, either digitally or via our Listening & Viewing Service.

This is an introductory session aimed at Readers who wish to find out more about our audiovisual collections and how to access them.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Modern newspapers

6 December (14.00-15.00); 20 June (14.00-15.00)

This workshop will be presented by the Newspaper Curator and will cover:

  • the development of newspapers from the mid-19th century to the present day
  • modern newspaper collections at the British Library
  • British/Irish newspapers received on Legal Deposit
  • Overseas newspapers
  • searching for modern newspapers in the Library's main catalogue - Explore the British Library.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

Introduction to the Newsroom

13 December (14.00-15.00); 14 February (14.00-15.00); 17 April (14.00-15.00); 22 May (14.00-15.00) 
This session will provide an introduction to the Newsroom and the news collections as well as basic guidance for researchers using the Reading Room. The session will:

  • provide an overview of the scope and history of our news collections
  • explain what digital news sources are available
  • explain how to search for and order newspapers
  • provide information on resources and services in the Reading Room.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

Early newspapers

28 February (14.00-15.00)

This workshop will be presented by the Newspaper Curator and will include:

  • the development of newspapers from the early C17th to the mid C19th
  • the origins of the national and regional press in the UK
  • early newspaper collections at the British Library
  • searching for early newspapers in the Library's main catalogue - Explore the British Library
  • digitised early newspaper.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

1-2-1-sessions

Would you like to register for a free 30 minute one-to-one consultation session with one of our Reference Enquiry specialists? We can show you how to get the most from our catalogues and resources and can use our expertise to direct you towards useful and hard to find material based on your research interests.

To find out more or to book a session, please contact the appropriate team.

To book a place, please provide us with the following information:

  • your general or specific area of research interest 
  • the level (personal interest, undergraduate, postgraduate, academic) of research you are undertaking and stage (planning, beginning, finishing) you have reached.

Note that these 1-2-1 sessions are for registered readers only.

Please also note that these sessions are to guide you in your research so we cannot answer very specific research queries or produce comprehensive bibliographies.