The Eccles Centre is a springboard for developing ideas and advancing research.

Our goal is to connect users with the British Library’s North American collections. We work with promising talent to expand their thinking and uncover new inspirations. In doing so we bring together minds spanning the creative and academic disciplines.

Our programme includes a range of events designed to illuminate all aspects of North American literature, history, politics and culture.  We nurture our growing community of talented writers, thinkers and creatives through a range of awards which enable great work to happen.  Our range of study resources are designed to help inspire those exploring the British Library's Canadian, American and Caribbean collections. 


Doctoral Students Open Day 2020: Introducing the Americas Collections

Practical and inspiring open days for first year PhD students new to the Library

Borrowing from Britain's Beggar: Influences on American Colonial Theatre

Explore the British influence on colonial American theatre through the Library's collection

Mapping the Pacific

How the Pacific has been explored and mapped across the centuries

Slavery and Resistance in Jamaican History

A day of practical talks and workshops from leading historians of 18th-century Jamaica


Bibliographic guides

A range of bibliographic guides designed to introduce the North American collections at the British Library, covering a wide range of topics from colonial times to the present.

Web exhibitions

Online exhibitions on a range of topics highlighting the richness of the British Library's North American collections.

Lectures and interviews

Print and audio versions of Eccles Centre-sponsored talks, lectures and events.

Collection guides

Further details about the Americas collections at the British Library.

Fellowships and Awards

Eccles Centre Visiting Fellowships

Awards to support individuals from the UK, North America and Europe who need to use the British Library's North American collections.

The Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer's Award

The award scheme offers £20,000 to assist in the research of a current book-length project using the British Library's Americas collections.

Fulbright-British Library Eccles Centre Scholar Award

The Eccles Centre-sponsored Fulbright award is open to US scholars who wish to use the Library’s North American collections for a period of 6 months

Canada-UK and Eccles Centre Canadian Fellowship

Two £5,000 fellowships are offered per year to support two Canadian researchers to make an extended visit to the UK in order to use the collections of the British Library.

Blog posts

Edward Kamau Brathwaite (1930-2020) – a mind of many talents

Monday, February 10, 2020

Blog by Dr Philip Abraham, Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library Edward Kamau Brathwaite, poet, activist and historian, was one of the towering figures of modern Caribbean literary and intellectual history, and a writer whose versatility and...

Walter Rodney's Enduring Legacy Through Archival Collaboration

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Walter Rodney; image courtesy of the Huntley Archives, London Metropolitan Archives, LMA 4463 series Nearly forty years ago, on 13 June 1980, Guyanese historian, political activist and academic Walter Rodney was assassinated. Family, friends and fans across the world mourned...

One more step along the road I go: Tracking the first three months of my Chevening Fellowship

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

My first day in the UK saw me meeting with some individuals at the British Library who are integral parts of my one-year journey. I met with Jody Butterworth, curator for Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), Phil Hatfield (Head Eccles Centre...

Best American Ghost Story?

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Inspired by George Goodwin’s recent American Collections blog and its reference to A Christmas Carol – and ignoring Jill’s protestations in a recent episode of ‘The Archers’ – now is the perfect time to indulge in some ghost stories. And...

More blog posts

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