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Free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions, 2017

Want to learn more about our extensive collections, how to find and order material and make use of our databases and resources?  Our Reference Enquiry librarians offer a range of free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions to help you make the most of your time researching here.

Note that, 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.

For the full programme of workshops and events covering business information and intellectual property go to Business & IP Centre workshops.

Discovery sessions

We offer a range of engaging and informative Discovery sessions so you’re sure to find something that matches your interest.  Sessions include: general introductions to resources relating to Explore the British Library and the Humanities, and introduction to the Sound & Vision Archive, introductions to Social Sciences, Early Newspapers and the Newsroom; guides to using Asian & African Family History resources, and Family History Sources in the Humanities Reading Room and London Fashion Week - a Guide to Fashion Magazines.

Discovery sessions usually last 1 hour and are typically aimed at registered readers (unless otherwise stated). We can accommodate up to twelve people per session.

Introduction to Explore the British Library and the Humanities Reading Rooms: 14 August (18.00-19.00); 13 September 18.00-19.00)

This session provides a general introduction to our main catalogue, Explore the British Library, and to the resources and open access material available in the Humanities Reading Rooms. The session covers:

  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Non-Print and E-Resources
  • My Workspace
  • Other British Library catalogues
  • Open Access.

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 the Sound & Vision Archive: 16 August (18.00-19.00); 18 September (18.00-19.00)

The Library's Sound & Vision Archive is one of the largest in the world. This show/listen-and-tell session will introduce the diverse subject matter that can be found in the collections, explain how to utilise the Sound and Moving Image catalogue to best effect and outline the historical importance of the collections. The session covers:

  • Audiovisual resources
  • Catalogue navigation
  • E-resources.

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.

An Introduction to Family History Sources in the Humanities Reading Room : 12 September (14.00-15.00)

Are you thinking of starting the journey to trace your family tree and discover more about your ancestors? Then join us for this session to learn about the resources that are available on the Open Access shelves in the Humanities Reading Rooms, as well as in the Explore Catalogue of printed and electronic items. We will also look at what information can be gained from the ‘Shipping Lists’; or searching by profession/occupation, biographies, church records, heraldic Coat of Arms and other resources.

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.

An Introduction to Family History Sources in Asian & African Studies: 23 August (12.00-13.30); 21 September (12.00-13.30)

This informal workshop is aimed at new or inexperienced users of the collection. It will be of interest to anyone tracing European ancestors who were born, married or died in South Asia before independence in 1947 – 1948. The session covers:

  • Introduction to the wealth of material in the India Office archives for family history
  • Basics in using and interpreting our sources re: births, baptisms, marriages and burials for European Christians who were born, married and / or died in South Asia before independence in 1947-48.

Note that this workshop is open to those without a valid British Library Reader Pass.

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 Enquiries Desk.

Introduction to Social Sciences: 9 August (11.00-12.00); 4 October (11.00-12.00); 6 December (11.00-12.00)

During this session a member of the Social Sciences Reference Team will provide an overview of how to search for and gain access to the our Social Sciences collections. This will cover information on how the Reading Rooms work, the resources we provide access to, how to access material for your research and the services we provide - both face-to-face in the Reading Rooms and also remotely. The session will also include a live demonstration of how to find and order items from our 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 Social Sciences Enquiry Desk.

Introduction to Early Newspapers: From the Early 17th Century to the Mid-19th Century: 16 August (14.00-15.00)

Introductory session aimed at Readers who are new to using our newspaper collection and have a particular interest in Early Newspapers. The session covers:

  • Development of newspapers from the 17thC to the mid-19thC
  • 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 catalogue.

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 September (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.

London Fashion Week - Guide to Fashion Magazines: 18 September (15.00-16.00)

This session will start with an overview of the history of fashion magazines and then provide an introduction to accessing our fashion related resources.  The session covers:

  • The development of fashion magazines from early printed resources onwards
  • Brief overview of British Vogue
  • Demonstrate how to search for and order fashion magazines
  • Explain what digital related sources are available
  • 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 Humanities Reference Enquiries 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.

Asian and African Studies

India Office Papers, oriental language publications and oriental language manuscripts

Email: Ask the Asian and African Studies Reference Team

Business & IP Centre

For the full programme of workshops and events covering business information and intellectual property go to Business & IP Centre workshops.

Humanities

Literature, Classics, History, Philosophy, Religion, Visual and Performing Arts, Library and Information Science

E-mail: Ask the Humanities Reference Team

Manuscripts

Western language manuscripts, archives and papers, manuscript maps, pre-1500 music manuscripts, playscripts

E-mail: Ask the Manuscripts & Maps Reference Team

Maps

Printed maps, topographical drawings, globes

E-mail: Ask the Manuscripts & Maps Reference Team

Music

Printed music scores, post-1500 manuscript music scores and papers relating to musicians

E-mail: Ask the Music Reference Team

News

Newspapers, broadcast media

E-mail: Ask the News Reference Team

Rare Books

Pre-1851 printed material, incunabula, study of the book, printed and online resources for rare book material

E-mail: Ask the Rare Books Reference Team

Science

Science, technology, medicine

E-mail: Ask the Science Reference Team

Social Science

Social science, law, management, official and government publications

E-mail: Ask the Social Sciences Reference Team

Sound & Vision

Spoken word, music, wildlife and moving image recordings

E-mail: Ask the Sound & Vision Reference Team