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About this site

The Social Science Collections and Research team at the British Library supports researchers by opening up and enabling access to our content and resources. Our aim is to inspire research, promote collaboration and knowledge exchange, and support capacity building among the current and next generation of researchers.

This site takes the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a platform upon which to introduce the wide range of materials held at the British Library which can support research into the social aspects of sport. It is aimed at a cross section of people, from those who are intrigued by the issues which underlie the hosting of the Games, to those who are actively involved in the latest research.

We have divided the site into subject areas which reflect the specialities of our team members. These areas contain bibliographies of British Library materials, discussion of current research issues in that subject, links to resources outside the Library, and articles from external contributors, including student researchers. The research articles are usually in pdf and are attached to the subject pages, so the deeper you go into the site the more detailed the information becomes.

The site was launched in April 2010 in its basic form and we hope to add much more research content as London 2012 approaches, including a calendar of scholarly events about the Olympics and Paralympics. We are especially grateful to Routledge for permission to provide a selection of journal articles in full text on the website.

One of the major themes of the site is that of legacy – or what will remain after the Games are over. For the British Library, the most important aspect of the legacy debate is the need to ensure that libraries and archives acquire as much as possible of the publications (and other materials) coming out of the London Olympics and Paralympics so that future generations will have all the necessary resources to analyse the Games of 2012 and their outcomes. We are therefore making a particular appeal to publishers of all kinds to help us to do this by depositing their publications here, and by encouraging a debate about the legacy of the Olympics and Paralympics and how we can best address this issue.

There are a number of bibliographies on the site containing references to books and other media held in the British Library’s collection. An explanation of what the shelfmarks attached to the bibliographical references denote, and how you can obtain these items is given below.

Shelfmark explanation for bibliographies

Help us to provide a research legacy for the London Olympics

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Social sciences at the British Library

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