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

Collection guides

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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

Imaginary Cities - British Library Labs Project

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Posted by Mahendra Mahey on behalf of Michael Takeo Magruder, first runner up in the British Library Labs Competition 2016. Michael will be working with the BL Labs team between November 2016 and March 2017 on his project 'Imaginary Cities'...

Maurice Nicholson - British Library Flickr Commons Map Tagger and Top Georeferencer

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I am a retired pharmacist who has been involved in the British Library's (BL) georeferencing work from its inception in February 2012. I have always had an interest in maps and mapping, and was alerted to this project through social...

BL Labs Symposium (2016), Mon 7 Nov: book your place now!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Posted by Hana Lewis, BL Labs Project Officer. The BL Labs team are pleased to announce that the fourth annual British Library Labs Symposium will be held on Monday 7th November, from 9:30 - 17:30 in the British Library Conference...

Digital Conversations @BL: Multimedia PhD Research and Non-text Theses

Friday, October 14, 2016

This is a guest post by Coral Manton, PhD research Student with i-DAT at the University of Plymouth funded through the 3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training. I am coming to the end of my research project with EThOS exploring multimedia...


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…

Dr Bob Nicholson used digitised 19th-century books and newspapers to bring Victorian jokes back to life.

…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