Someone scanning a manuscript

We support and stimulate research of all kinds.

One of the founding principles of the British Library was to put the UK’s formidable national library collections at the service of research and innovation of all kinds. The goal then, as now, was to support the creation of new and open knowledge, across the fullest possible range of disciplines, from science and the social sciences to arts and humanities, as well as the vital interdisciplinary work that often yields the truest innovation.

Our priorities:

  • make it easier for more people to access the collection, with online registration, improved search and increased volumes of research content available online
  • help people, including those less experienced or confident, to use the information they need
  • increase our support for scientists and the public understanding of science, including the development of our St Pancras site as a major centre for life science and data science research
  • develop and implement a new AI Strategy and Ethical Guide to support the next generation of our digital research.


These five major transformation programmes show how we're achieving our Knowledge Matters vision.

Everyone Engaged

Our mission is to make our intellectual heritage available to everyone for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

Everything Available

We're modernising our support for researchers of all kinds.

St Pancras Transformed

We're expanding the British Library’s campus in St Pancras, London.

Heritage Made Digital

We will transform digital access to our collections of heritage materials.

Boston Spa Renewed

We're developing our Boston Spa site to meet the information management challenges of the 21st century.