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 Newsroom

28 February (14.00-15.00); 17 May (14.00-15.00)

Introductory session aimed at Readers who are new to using the Newsroom. The presentation includes a demonstration of the Library's catalogue, Explore the British Library, with a hands-on element and 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.

Family history sources in the Social Sciences and Official Publications collections

7 March (11.00-12.00)

Interested in family history research? This session will introduce some of the useful resources available via the Social Sciences Reading Room.

General Register Office Indexes – We have access to UK birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837 to the present day. We also hold various overseas birth/death indices, including consular births and marine deaths.

Electoral registers – These are often used to ascertain who lived at a particular address at a point in time. The British Library has the only full set of these registers, which cover the whole of the UK from 1947.

Find My Past – This provides access to various collections of material beneficial to family history research, including the Census from 1841-1911, the 1939 Register, the indexes of births, marriages and deaths and older electoral registers from 1832-1932.

Our Reference experts can explain how to find and use these resources in order to help your family research

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 Social Sciences Reference Desk.

Introduction to family history sources in Asian & African Studies

13 March (12.00-13.30); 17 April (12.00-13.30); 15 May (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

13 March (14.30-16.00); 17 April (14.30-16.00); 15 May (14.30-16.00)

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.

Early Newspapers

15 March (14.00-15.00)

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

  • 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 British Library catalogue (Explore the British Library)
  • digitised early newspapers.

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. 

Modern Newspapers

9 May (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 British Library 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. 

News-related Electronic Resources

12 June (14.00-15.00)

This session will cover the range of news related electronic resources available at the British 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 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.

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.