Undertake innovative research with our digital collections and data with the help of our Digital Research experts.

Collection guides

Computer code

Digital Research

Digital Research at the British Library is a cross-disciplinary team supporting the creation and innovative use of British Library's digital collections. 

We work with those operating at the intersection of academic research, cultural heritage and technology to support new ways of exploring and accessing our collections through:

  • Getting content in digital form and online
  • Collaborative projects
  • Offering digital research support and guidance
  • Events, competitions, and awards

For enquiries please contact digitalresearch@bl.uk

Twitter: #bldigital

Blog posts

Dealing with Optical Character Recognition errors in Victorian newspapers

20 July 2016

This second (of two) posts featuring speakers at an internal seminar on spatial humanities is by Amelia Joulain-Jay of Lancaster University. Let's hear from Amelia... Have you browsed through the British Library’s Collection of Nineteenth Century Newspapers? Then you have...

Ruby Dixon Work Experience

12 July 2016

Posted by Ruby Dixon, currently a student at Graveney School and on work-experience at BL Labs. Day 1: Monday 27/6/2016 Arriving at the British Library staff entrance. My name is Ruby Dixon and I am 16 years old. I am...

Finding digitised books and images about Finland in a collection of 65,000 books

11 July 2016

Posted by Ruby Dixon, currently a student at Graveney School and on work-experience at BL Labs. Background The ‘Microsoft’ books are 65,000 digitised volumes - about 22.5 million pages - which were published between 1789 and 1914; they were digitised...

A temporal & spatial investigation of disease in 19th century British newspapers

08 July 2016

We're excited to present this guest post by Catherine Porter, Spatial Humanities Project, Department of History, Lancaster University, based on a talk she gave at an internal seminar (a second talk from the seminar is here). Over to Cat... In...


British Library Labs

Competitions, events and collaborative projects that support and inspire the use of our digital collections

THOR: Technical and Human Infrastructure for Open Research

An EC Funded project to establish seamless integration between articles, data, and researchers across the research lifecycle

Off the map

An annual videogame design competition for UK higher education students


Crowdsourcing location data to make a selection of its vast collections of maps fully searchable and viewable using popular online geotechnologies.

Case studies

…We found 5519 meetings. It's not quite Big Data but for a historian it's alot. I couldn't have done that by hand.…

Where did the Chartists hold their meetings? Dr Katrina Navickas used digitised 19th-century newspapers to find out.

…I wanted to find Victorian jokes and bring them back to life…

Digitised 19th-Ccntury books and newspapers enabled Dr Bob Nicholson to build a database of Victorian jokes and bring them to life as modern day memes on Twitter.

…It was beyond my wildest dreams, really unbelievable…

Artist David Normal used British Library images as source material for his arresting artworks.

Library experts

Dr Adam Farquhar

Head of Digital Scholarship

Dr Rossitza Atanassova

Digital Curator, Digitisation

Dr Mia Ridge

Digital Curator, Western Heritage Collections

Mr Neil Fitzgerald

Head of Digital Research

Nora McGregor

Digital Curator, Asian & African Collections

Stella Wisdom

Digital Curator, Contemporary British Collections

More staff members

External links

The British Library is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Methods to locate, identify and cite data

IMPACT Centre of Competence

Making digitisation of historical printed text better, faster, cheaper

International Image Interoperability Framework

A protocol for standardized image retrieval

International Internet Preservation Coalition

Improving the best practices of web archiving

Open Preservation Foundation

Long-term management of digital cultural heritage