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Free workshops: Training programme 2014

We offer a range of workshops and training events to enable you to carry out effective research and to make best use of the Library:

These workshops are run by reference specialists from our reference teams, with the aim of helping Readers to navigate the British Library’s extensive collections.

You can book a place by email.

Workshop programme

 An introduction to referencing and citation

This session will cover:

  • Why referencing and citation is important and when it should be used
  • An overview of some citation styles and how the BL supports these via Explore and other databases
  • Some of the different reference management software available.

Dates: 11 December (15:00).

Business & IP Centre workshops

The Centre runs a full programme of workshops covering business information and intellectual property. Details of the programme and booking information

 Electronic Resources Overview

This session will cover:

  • Awareness of electronic resources and the importance of electronic content for research
  • Familiarisation with the different ways of accessing electronic content
  • Acquiring the search skills; both basic and advanced, to effectively search all electronic resources.
  • Published Bibliographies and Subject Indexes

Dates: 25 November (11:00), 04 December (15:00) and 18 December (15:00).

 Navigating the British Library’s collections: getting started at the British Library

In this session we will:

  • Raise awareness of information literacy
  • Outline the range of digital and physical collections and the research tools to find them
  • Introduce the Library’s London-based reference services

Dates: 02 December (11:00) and 16 December (11:00).

 News Reference Workshops

Introduction to early newspapers: From the early 17th century to the mid-19th century
This workshop 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 British Library catalogue (Explore the British Library)
  • Digitised early newspapers

Date: 26 Nov (14.30)
To book a place, please email us at:

Introduction to the Newsroom
This session aims to 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

Dates: 9 Dec (14.30)
To book a place, please email us at:

 Save time when searching for journals on Explore

We will give you an introduction on how to:

  • search for journals in the British Library collections
  • identify, select and order journal titles and articles on Explore
  • understand our records and keep track of your orders before visiting the Library

This session includes a step-by-step demo on how to order journal titles and articles on Explore.

Dates: 27 November (15:00) and 09 December (11:00).

 Science Research Skills Sessions

Do you need guidance on using the catalogue, accessing e-journals and databases or finding references for your research?

The Science Reference Enquiry team would be happy to help! We run sessions (Mon-Fri) on a variety of subjects and now offer free 30-minute one-to-one training sessions, tailored to Readers' needs, covering basic skills in library research and focussing on science resources at the British Library.

To find out more or to book a session, please email us at:

 Social Sciences workshops

Clinics on Social Sciences Resources
The Social Sciences Reference Team offers free 30-minute one-to-one training sessions tailored to your needs covering basics skills on library research focusing on the social sciences resources available in the Library. To book, please contact Social Sciences.

 How to book a place on our workshops

  • Booking details for Business & IP Centre workshops are available on our web pages.
  • To attend a news or newspaper related workshop, please speak to staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk or email us at:
  • To attend a Science session please speak to staff at the Reference Enquiry Desk in the Science Reading Room or email us at:
    NB: These sessions are open to British Library Reader Pass holders only. If you would like to attend but do not have a Reader Pass, please register with us.
  • For all other workshops:
    Please note that for all courses booked through, bookings will only be accepted up to two days before the course.

There is a heavy demand for these courses. If you are booked on one and later find that you are unable to come, please let us know so that we can offer the place to someone else. Thank you.