Free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions: 2019

Secondary ESOL

We offer a range of free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions to help you make the most of your time researching here.

Published date:

Unless otherwise stated, our Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions are aimed at Registered Readers and usually held within our Reading Rooms, which are only accessible with a valid Reader Pass. If you wish to attend you should register with us for a Reader Pass.

Note also that 1-2-1 sessions are offered subject to staff availability.

Discovery sessions

We offer a range of engaging and informative Discovery sessions so you’re sure to find something that matches your interest. They typically last one hour each and we can accommodate up to 12 people per session.

Introduction to family history sources in Asian & African Studies

16 July (12.00-13.30); 14 August (12.00-13.30); 17 September (12.00-13.30)

If you are trying to trace details of the births/baptisms, marriages and/or burials of Europeans who were born, married or died in South Asia (= including Burma, but excluding Sri Lanka) before independence in 1947/48, then this session should be of interest. Previous knowledge of the topic is neither expected nor required. The session includes a brief overview of the historical background together with practical advice in how to access the genealogical data held in the collection. Participants do not have to be registered Readers.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Desk.

Beyond baptisms, marriages and burials: additional family history sources in Asian & African Studies

16 July (14.30-16.30); 14 August (14.30-16.30); 17 September (14.30-16.30)

This session provides information about the wealth of printed, online and visual material available to family history researchers in forms such as wills, photographs, biographical compilations, newspapers and directories. It is useful, but not necessary, to have attended the introductory family history session. Military ancestry is not covered, being the subject of a separate session.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Desk.

Sound & Vision: finding and accessing recordings

17 July (14.00-15.00) 

Are you interested in non-print media? The Library has over 6 million sound and moving image recordings including all genres of music, wildlife, drama, literature, oral history and archived radio broadcasts. The recordings date from the late nineteenth century to the present day and can be accessed in our Reading Rooms, either digitally or via our Listening & Viewing Service.

This is an introductory session aimed at Readers who wish to find out more about our audiovisual collections and how to access them.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

News-related electronic resources

18 July (14.00-15.00); 31 October (14.00-15.00); 11 December (14.00-15.00)

This session will cover the range of news related electronic resources available at the Library and how to access this material. The session will:

  • introduce you to newspaper electronic resources and importance of newspaper e-resources for contemporary research
  • highlight the various ways to access BL newspaper e-resources
  • demonstrate key newspaper e-resources
  • showcase the variety of newspaper databases including facsimile and text only e-resources, and various news related bibliographies and indexes available at the Library.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

Introduction to ‘Explore the British Library’, the Library’s main catalogue and the Humanities Reading Room

24 July (14.00-15.00); 31 July (14.00-15.00); 15 August (14.00-15.00); 29 August (14.00-15.00)

This session provides a general introduction to the Library’s main catalogue and explains how Readers can get the most from our printed and e-resources. The session will cover:

  • the different search scopes: ‘Main catalogue’, ‘Our Website’, ‘Explore Further’
  • how to log in/change your password
  • how to search, refine your searches and save your searches
  • how to order, reserve, copy scan and print collection items
  • digital sources and e-resources
  • use of ‘My workspace’, your ‘Basket’ and ‘My reading Room Requests’
  • information on resources and services in the Reading Room.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Religious Studies, on-line and printed resources in Humanities

25 July (14.00-15.00); 1 August (14.00-15.00); 8 August (14.00-15.00)

Are you researching Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion, beliefs or traditions of the world and new faiths? Are you interested in their origins, theological questions, sacred texts and their interpretation, taking into account different disciplines, such as history, sociology, philosophy, psychology? Then book your place for this interdisciplinary Discovery Session.

We’ll introduce you to the Library's collection of printed and online resources, e-databases, e-journals e-books, e-theses, images, sound archive material.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Humanities printed and electronic resources on Women’s and Gender Studies

26 July (14.00-15.00); 2 August (14.00-15.00); 22 August (14.00-15.00)

This session is designed as an interdisciplinary session on women’s studies across disciplines in all areas of life. Coverage includes: the role of women and gender in history, literature, religion, society, science and culture on a global historical, geographical and religious scale. Also: equality, human rights, dignity and respect, religious diversity and women, suffrage, minority groups, race, class, power, femininity and masculinity, ethnicity, migration.

This is an introductory session aimed at readers who wish to improve their searching for print and non-print items.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Introduction to the Newsroom

16 Oct (14.00-15.00); 28 November (14.00-15.00)

This session will introduce the Newsroom and the new collections as well as provide basic guidance for researchers using the reading room. The session will:

  • provide an overview of the scope and history of our new collections
  • explain what digital news sources are available
  • explain how to search for and order newspapers
  • provide information on resources and services in the reading room.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

1-2-1-sessions

Would you like to register for a free 30 minute one-to-one consultation session with one of our Reference Enquiry specialists? We can show you how to get the most from our catalogues and resources and can use our expertise to direct you towards useful and hard to find material based on your research interests.

To find out more or to book a session, please contact the appropriate team.

To book a place, please provide us with the following information:

  • your general or specific area of research interest
  • the level (personal interest, undergraduate, postgraduate, academic) of research you are undertaking and stage (planning, beginning, finishing) you have reached.

Note that these 1-2-1 sessions are for registered readers only.

Please also note that these sessions are to guide you in your research so we cannot answer very specific research queries or produce comprehensive bibliographies.

Collection guides

The King's Library

The collection of George III includes thousands of books and pamphlets

Russian avant-garde collections

An extensive collection of avant-garde books of the early 20th century

Spanish printed collections

Includes 16,600 Spanish books published before 1801

French printed collections

Incunabula, books, journals, maps and music

Modern Greek printed collections

One of the world's finest collections of Greek and Cyprus imprints

French Revolutionary Tracts

50,000 books, pamphlets and periodicals printed in France between the 1780s and 1840s

Italian printed collections

Our Italian collections cover all periods and a wide variety of subjects

Portuguese printed collections

Contemporary and antiquarian material, including 225 books published in Portugal before 1601

Dutch printed collections

Publications covering a wide range of subjects and periods from the Dutch-speaking territories

German printed collections

Early and modern material printed in the German-speaking countries

Thomason Tracts

A key source for the English Civil War in the mid-17th century

Burney collection

Largest single collection of 17th and 18th-century English newspapers available

Scandinavian printed collections

One of the richest collections of books from the Scandinavian countries

Garrick Collection of English Plays

David Garrick's collection of 16th and 17th-century printed plays

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin collection of books