About the Electronic British Library Journal

St Matthew writing with a quill overseen by an angel

The eBLJ is the journal of scholarly research into the contents and history of the British Library and its collections.

Foreword by Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library.

The aim of the British Library Journal is to extend the knowledge of the Library, its collections and their potential for research. It forms part of a tradition of seeking new ways of giving the widest possible access to knowledge which stretches back to the time of my predecessor Sir Anthony Panizzi, who in 1836 declared: 'I want a poor student to have the same means of indulging his learned curiosity, of following his rational pursuits, of consulting the same authorities, of fathoming the most intricate inquiry as the richest man in the kingdom, as far as books go and I contend that the Government is bound to give him the most liberal and unlimited assistance in this respect.'

In the first issue of the British Library Journal in 1975, the then Chairman Viscount Eccles envisaged that the Journal would be read by 'dedicated bookmen, amateur as well as professional' and added: 'But to broaden the readership is also a social duty. Those who have a privileged access to the things of the intellect and spirit have an obligation to share their good fortune as widely as possible'.  When the digital version was launched in 2002, my immediate predecessor Dame Lynne Brindley took these aspirations into the digital age, writing in her Foreword that the Journal in its electronic form would 'combine traditional scholarship with the latest technology'.

The British Library's commitment to scholarship and its ever broader dissemination is exemplified in its Journal.

Focus and scope

The eBLJ welcomes submissions of original research articles on the contents and history of the British Library and its collections. Articles should not have been previously published, and should not be under consideration at other journals.

Contributions are welcome from all scholars, though contributors should note that the eBLJ does not publish articles on information science or book reviews. There is no restriction in principle on length. Shorter contributions, for example dedicated to a single item or collection, are welcome.

The Journal is published by the British Library Board.

e-ISSN 1478-0259.

Editorial policies

All articles submitted to the eBLJ are initially assessed by the Journal Editor, who will decide whether or not the article is suitable for peer review. If a submission is considered suitable for peer review, at least one independent expert will be assigned to review the article on the basis of its scope, clarity and validity. The eBLJ operates a double-blind peer review process; authors and reviewers are anonymous to each other during the process.

With the support of the Editorial Board, the Journal Editor will make the final decision on whether or not to accept the article for publication, accept the article with modifications, or to reject the article.

In the event that the Editorial Board is made aware of any allegation of research misconduct related to a published Journal article (including plagiarism and data fabrication), the Editor will deal with the case by following the flowcharts developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Publication frequency

The Journal is published continuously throughout the year, with one volume per year. Articles undergo production as soon as they are ready, to ensure minimal delays in publication.

British Library Journal (1975-1999)

ISSN 0305-5167. e-ISSN 2056-2829. 

The eBLJ is the successor to the British Library Journal, which appeared in twenty-five volumes between 1975 and 1999.

The print copies of the British Library Journal are available to consult in the British Library Reading Rooms in London.



Image citation: St Matthew writing his Gospel.  Book of Hours, Use of Tours, c. 1490 - c. 1500.  Harley MS. 2877, f. 16.