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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, Newsroom, Science and Social Sciences; explorations of Modern Newspapers and News-related Electronic resources; guides to using Asian & African Family History resources, Sources for Military Ancestry in Asian & African Studies, and the Sound & Vision archive and a Humanities freestyle and Medieval Food and Recipes session.

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.

Humanities Freestyle: 4 May (14.30-15.30)

Have you encountered problems whilst researching a modern Humanities topic at the British Library? Do you want help with strategies for searching particular subjects, formats and periods? Not sure about Reading Room procedures – what you can or cannot do? Our Humanities Reference Specialist is happy to answer these and any other queries you may have and to explain where to send written enquiries for any questions that cannot be answered within the 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 Humanities Reference Enquiries Desk.

Introduction to the Sound & Vision Archive: 15 May (18.00-19.00), 21 June (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.

Medieval Food and Recipes: 17 May (14.00 – 15.00)

This show-and-tell session looks at some of the beautiful hand written medieval cookery manuscripts in the British Library’s collection and how to find them on our 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 Manuscripts Reference Enquiries Desk.

News-related Electronic Resources: 18 May (14.00)

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

  • Provide an awareness of newspaper electronic resources and importance of newspaper e-resources for contemporary research
  • Highlight the various ways to access Library newspaper e-resources
  • Demonstrate of key newspaper e-resources
  • Showcase the variety of newspaper 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.

An Introduction to Family History Sources in Asian & African Studies: 23 May (12.00-13.00), 21 June (12.00-13.00), 27 July (21.00-13.00)

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.

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 Explore the British Library and the Humanities Reading Rooms: 24 May (18.00-19.00), 12 June (18.00-19.00)

This session provides a general introduction to the Library’s 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.

Sources for Military Ancestry in Asian & African Studies: 1 June (14.00-15.00)

Anyone interested in researching the personal and career details of European officers, N.C.O.s and men who served in the armed forces of the East India Company, the Indian Army (pre-1947) and / or British Army units posted to India is welcome to attend this workshop. It is led by Peter Bailey of the Families In British India Society (FIBIS).

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: 7 June (11.00-12.00)

This session provides an overview of how to search for, and order, material held in the Library's Social Sciences collection. It covers how the Reading Rooms work, the social sciences resources available and how to access material for your research. It will also outline some of the other services that we provide - both face-to-face in the Reading Rooms and also remotely.

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 Enquiries Desk.

Introduction to Modern Newspapers: From the Mid-19th Century to the Present: 15 June (14.00)

This workshop, presented by a News curator, covers:

  • 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
  • How to search 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.

Discovering the Science Collection: 22 June (15.00-16.00)

Focusing primarily upon the Science resources, this session provides a general introduction to the Library’s main catalogue, Explore the British Library, and to the resources and open access material available in the Science 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 Science Reference Enquiries Desk.

Introduction to the Newsroom: 28 June (14.00-15.00)

This session provides an introduction to the Newsroom and the news collections as well as basic guidance for researchers using the Reading Room. The session covers:

  • The scope and history of our news collections
  • The digital news sources available in the Reading Room
  • How to search for and order newspapers
  • What other resources and services are available 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.

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